President Joe Biden on Tuesday hammered Republican officials who have been attacking the FBI for its search on former President Donald Trump’s home, specifically calling out South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham’s statement warning about riots.
“The idea you turn on a television and see senior senators and congressmen saying, ‘If such and such happens, there’ll be blood in the street,’” Biden said at a speech in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, about public safety. “Where the hell are we?”
Biden also criticized Republicans generally for attacking the FBI and demanding that the agency be “defunded.”
“Now it’s sickening to see the new attacks on the FBI. Threatening the lives of law enforcement agents and their families for simply carrying out the law and doing their job,” Biden said. “I’m opposed to defunding the police. I’m also opposed to defunding the FBI.”
President Joe Biden speaks at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, on Aug. 30. (Photo: JIM WATSON via Getty Images)
In a Sunday night interview with Fox News, Graham said the FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago was politically motivated and warned that prosecuting Trump would result in violence. “I’ll say this: If there is a prosecution of Donald Trump for mishandling classified information after the Clinton debacle ... there will be riots in the street,” he said.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was not prosecuted after having a small number of classified documents on her private email server during her 2016 presidential run. Trump is being investigated for taking highly classified documents, including some that are top secret and deal with human intelligence, from the White House with him to his tennis and croquet club in Florida.
While Biden has long criticized those who defend Trump’s mob that attacked the Capitol as part of his attempted coup to remain in power, on Tuesday he said those who do cannot then pretend to be supporters of the police, 140 of whom were injured in the attack.
“You can’t be pro-law enforcement and pro-insurrection. You can’t be a party of law and order and call the people who attacked the police on Jan. 6 patriots. You can’t do it,” he said. “For god’s sake, whose side are you on? Whose side are you on? ... You’re either on the side of the mob, or the side of the police.”
Biden, whose approval ratings have been rising following the passage of several pieces of his agenda, said he would build on the bipartisan legislation that made it harder for domestic abusers and troubled young people to buy guns.
“I’m determined to ban assault weapons in this country. Determined,” he said, mocking gun enthusiasts who say the high-powered rifles are needed to defend against a tyrannical government. “You can’t go out and buy an automatic weapon. You can’t go out and buy a cannon ... If you want to fight against the country, you need an F-15. You need a little more than a gun.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.