Shots were fired during the 2020 presidential debate Tuesday night between President Donald Trump and former vice president and Democratic candidate Joe Biden.
The debate, moderated by Fox News host Chris Wallace, took place at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland from 9 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. ET. It was marked by interrupting, low-jabs and needling — including a blow from Biden towards Trump, nicknaming him “Putin’s puppy.”
The former VP characterized the president as a lapdog for Russian President Vladimir Putin, referencing claims that Russia’s main intelligence agency offered Taliban bounties for killing U.S. troops, according to The New York Times.
“I’ve gone head to head with Putin, and made it clear to him — we’re not going to take any of this stuff. He’s Putin’s puppy,” Biden said of Trump.
You can watch a version of the clip below.
Biden: ‘He’s Putin’s puppy. He still refuses to even say anything to Putin about the bounty on the heads of American soldiers’ pic.twitter.com/Rn6gT8RZAZ
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) September 30, 2020
This isn’t the first time Biden has condemned Trump’s relationship with Russia, previously claiming that the current president is unfit for office due to his inability to confront Putin, according to Newsweek.
“The idea that somehow he didn’t know or isn’t being briefed, it is a dereliction of duty. If that’s the case, and if he was briefed and nothing was done about this, that’s a dereliction of duty,” Biden has said, the outlet reported.
Here’s what you need to know:
Biden Has Accused Trump of ‘Coddling Putin’
During a former fundraising video call, Biden condemned Trump for his approach on foreign policy, stating that the president failed the American public by “coddling Putin,” Newsweek reported.
“Putin carries him around like a puppy in one of those little puppy cages,” Biden said of the president, according to the outlet, citing a pool report from Biden’s campaign team.
Newsweek added that, “Russia and Putin have loomed over Trump since the campaign trail, amid allegations of an improper relationship between the New York billionaire and the Kremlin. Since coming into office, the president has had to fight off investigations into pro-Trump Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.”
Trump has also faced criticism in the past for seeking foreign policy that benefits Moscow, the outlet continued.
Moscow Offered Taliban Fighters in Afghanistan Bounties on U.S. Troops, According to The New York Times
The New York Times reported earlier this year that Moscow had offered Taliban fighters in Afghanistan bounties on U.S. troops.
While Newsweek reported that “the White House has said that Trump was not briefed on the allegations before the Times’ report,” it added that other reports have “suggested that the information was included in the president’s security briefings some time before the public revelation.”
The Washington Post also indicated that multiple American deaths were linked to the bounties.