- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 27, 2020

President Trump said Wednesday he wants Joseph R. Biden to be drug tested before their first debate, suggesting without evidence that his Democratic rival benefited from them before.

In an interview, Mr. Trump speculated Mr. Biden was on drugs when he debated Sen. Bernard Sanders, Vermont independent, during the final Democratic primary debate on March 15.

Without offering any evidence, Mr. Trump repeatedly suggested Mr. Biden used illicit substances to his advantage during that debate and should be tested before their own.

“We’re going to call for a drug test, by the way, because his best performance was against Bernie. It wasn’t that he was Winston Churchill because he wasn’t, but it was a normal, boring debate. You know, nothing amazing happened. And we are going to call for a drug test because there’s no way — you can’t do that,” Mr. Trump told the Washington Examiner

“Go back and watch his performance in some of those debates,” Mr. Trump said later in the interview. “He didn’t know where he was. And all of a sudden, he was not good, he was normal, and I don’t understand how. And I don’t know if there is or not, but somebody said to me, ‘He must be on drugs.’ I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I’m asking for a drug test. Both candidates. Me, too. I’ll take it. I take an aspirin a day.”

The Biden campaign did not immediately respond to a message seeking its reaction to the president’s remarks.

Mr. Trump raised very similar allegations in 2016 while running as the Republican candidate for president against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

“I think we should take a drug test prior to the debate,” Mr. Trump said on the campaign trail at the time. “We should take a drug test prior because I don’t know what’s going on with her. But at the beginning of her last debate — she was all pumped up at the beginning, and at the end it was like, ‘Oh, take me down.’ She could barely reach her car.”

No drug tests were held before Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton debated, the Examiner noted.

The first debate between Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden is currently set for Sept. 29.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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