- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 12, 2020

President Trump continued to boost an unsubstantiated claim about Joseph R. Biden in an interview airing Saturday, suggesting without evidence once again his Democratic challenger recently used drugs.

Mr. Trump told Fox News that he believes Mr. Biden may have benefited from drugs during the Democratic primary debates held prior to him receiving the party’s nomination to run for president.

“I think there’s probably — possibly — drugs involved. That’s what I hear. I mean, there’s possibly drugs,” Mr. Trump said about Mr. Biden in an excerpt from the interview made available Friday.

“I don’t know how you could go from so bad where you can’t even get out a sentence — I mean, you saw some of those debates with the large number of people on the stage — he was, I mean, I used to say, ‘How is it possible that he can even go forward?’” Mr. Trump told Fox News host Jeanine Pirro.

Less than two months before Election Day, Mr. Trump alleging illicit drug use on the part of his Democratic rival is unprecedented in neither this presidential race nor the one that preceded it.

The Washington Examiner reported late last month that Mr. Trump said in a White House interview that he wants Mr. Biden to be tested for drugs before they participate in a head-to-head debate.

“Go back and watch his performance in some of those debates,” Mr. Trump said Aug. 26. “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.”

Roughly four years earlier, Mr. Trump made a similar request while running as the Republican nominee against former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. “I think we should take a drug test prior to the debate because I don’t know what’s going on with her,” Mr. Trump said in October 2016.

Mr. Biden’s campaign did not immediately return a request for comment.

Nationwide polling conducted recently by Monmouth, Rasmussen, Quinnipiac and others have all placed Mr. Biden ahead of Mr. Trump by several percentage points. Election Day takes place Nov. 3.

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

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