- The Washington Times - Monday, October 28, 2019

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden on Sunday said President Trump tried to “blackmail” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky into investigating Mr. Biden, a leading contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

“Because he doesn’t want me to run, he decides that he’s going to go try to blackmail — I call it blackmail — the head of Ukraine,” Mr. Biden said at a fundraiser in North Carolina, according to a pool report of the event.

House Democrats are currently probing whether Mr. Trump improperly pressured Mr. Zelensky into digging up dirt on Mr. Biden and his son Hunter Biden — a charge the president has denied.

Mr. Biden also said that neither Mr. Trump nor Russian President Vladimir Putin wants him to win, alluding to Facebook’s taking down anti-Biden accounts posted by Russian bots.

He also criticized Facebook for continuing to run a Trump campaign ad his campaign said is false.

“They’re all done by the Russians, and they’ve been pulled down by Facebook,” he said. “Although Facebook continues to run millions of dollars of ads that every other network says are lies that they won’t run.”

Mr. Biden, 76, also said he’s “such an old guy,” but tried to spin his age into a positive.

“That’s why I’m running. Not a joke,” he said. “Because look, with age, comes experience. With experience, hopefully, there’s some wisdom. With some wisdom, hopefully, there’s some practical judgment.”

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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