Trump torches Biden as gloves finally come off after debate

Donald Trump unleashed a torrent of invective against U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday, mercilessly assailing the embattled Democrat as he faces down calls to end his reelection bid after a disastrous debate performance.

Trump's speech in Florida was his first public appearance since the clamor for Biden's withdrawal began gaining momentum, and the gloves were emphatically off as the Republican accused Democrats of lying to protect the president.

"It's the biggest cover up in political history," Trump thundered near the start of a 75-minute speech, which focused almost entirely on his 81-year-old election rival.

"As you know, they are all co-conspirators in the sinister plot to defraud the American public about the cognitive abilities of the man in the Oval Office."

Commentators have noted how Trump, 78, has appeared relatively restrained in recent days, stepping back from the limelight to allow the full glare of the media to stay on the Democratic leadership crisis.

But he dispensed with any pretense at restraint as he characterized Biden as a "corrupt, incompetent, cognitively impaired" leader who was barely aware of his own policies or record in office.

In a typically bombastic speech peppered with multiple exaggerations and falsehoods, Trump accused Biden of going missing regularly from the Oval Office while his son Hunter, a convicted felon, runs the government aided by First Lady Jill Biden.

For much of the rally at his Doral National golf resort in Miami, Trump ran through his usual stump speech, characterizing America as teetering on the edge of catastrophe and describing a world facing a race against the clock to avert nuclear armageddon.

But there were multiple departures as Trump skewered Biden ...

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