Biden says Trump ‘uses Hitler’s language, not America’s’ after Truth Social video goes viral

President Joe Biden speaks at the White House on May 20  (AP)
President Joe Biden speaks at the White House on May 20 (AP)

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Tuesday both condemned former president Donald Trump’s use of Nazi rhetoric after he shared — then deleted — a video referencing a “unified Reich” in the US after his hypothetical re-election this fall.

Speaking at a fundraiser in Boston, Biden called his predecessor and 2024 opponent “the same guy that uses Hitler’s language, not America’s”.

“It’s no surprise that when he, about four months ago, he talked about – I think maybe a little longer - that Hitler did some quote some good things,” he said.

Separately, Ms Harris told attendees at the Service Employees International Union convention in Philadelphia that the ex-president’s use of such rhetoric shows the stakes of this year’s presidential election.

“This kind of rhetoric is unsurprising coming from the former president and it is appalling,” she said. “And we’ve got to tell him who we are. And once again, it shows our freedoms and our very democracy are at stake”.

The 30-second clip, which was posted on Monday evening and quickly stoked outrage, showed several hypothetical news headlines in the instance that Trump wins the 2024 presidential election.

“It’s a landslide!” bursts onto the screen in the fabricated newspaper clipping. “Trump wins!!”

Kamala Harris speaks to a crowd (AP)
Kamala Harris speaks to a crowd (AP)

The next headline questions “What’s next for America?,” along with a photograph of the former president staunchly holding up a fist to a backdrop of the American flag.

But on closer inspection, the faux article becomes problematic.

“Industrial strength significantly increased, driven by the creation of a unified Reich,” it reads.

“Reich” derives from the Germanic world “realm”, referring to an empire. It also carries the connotation of Germany’s former dictator Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich, another name for his Nazi regime.

The Trump campaign’s national press secretary, Karoline Leavitt, said in a statement that the video in question was “not a campaign video” and blamed a campaign staffer for the offensive post.

“This was not a campaign video, it was created by a random account online and reposted by a staffer who clearly did not see the word while the president was in court,” she said.

President Joe Biden speaks at the White House on May 20 (AP)
President Joe Biden speaks at the White House on May 20 (AP)

Trump has previously said immigrants entering the US illegally are “poisoning the blood of our country,” and called his opponents “vermin,” wording similar to what is used in Mein Kampf. But the former president later said he was unaware Hitler had used similar language when questioned about the similarities and denied the comments were racist.

A spokesperson for President Biden’s re-election campaign, James Singer, pushed back on Ms Leavitt’s claim that the video posting was unintentional in a statement of his own, referencing the ex-president’s history of Nazism-infused statements.

“Donald Trump is not playing games; he is telling America exactly what he intends to do if he regains power: Rule as a dictator over a ‘unified Reich’,” he said.

“Parroting Mein Kampf while you warn of a bloodbath if you lose is the type of unhinged behavior you get from a guy who knows that democracy continues to reject his extreme vision of chaos, division, and violence.”