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Biden says he 'wasn't sure if he'd be running if Trump weren't in the race'

Joe Biden has said he wasn't sure he'd be running for reelection if Donald Trump wasn't also in the race for the White House.

The president was speaking to campaign donors in Boston on Tuesday when he made the statement adding that democracy is "more at risk in 2024" and that the former president and his allies are out to "destroy" democratic institutions.

Mr Biden attended a trio of fundraisers where he cautioned against the risks of his predecessor again claiming control of the White House, noting that Mr Trump has described himself as his supporters' "retribution" and has vowed to root out "vermin" in the country.

"We've got to get it done, not because of me.... If Trump wasn't running I'm not sure I'd be running. We cannot let him win," he said.

Asked to elaborate he said that even if Mr Trump wasn't running he "expected" he would still be in the race, but that the former president's presence meant the "had to run".

He added that he would remain in the race even if Mr Trump dropped out at this stage.

The president's comments came as Mr Trump, the current frontrunner for the Republican nomination, labelled him the "destroyer of American democracy".

Asked by Fox News's Sean Hannity whether he would promise not to abuse the power of the presidency as "retribution against anybody", the former Apprentice host replied he would not to be a dictator "except for day one".

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"I want to close the border and I want to drill, drill, drill. After that I'm not a dictator," Trump added.

The Biden campaign quickly seized on the comments with an email that read, "Donald Trump: Day One Dictator".

The warnings by Mr Biden are an increasingly integral part of his pitch to donors: that democracy is at stake if Mr Trump were to win again and he must be defeated.

Mr Trump, meanwhile, has tried to turn the tables on his old opponent and argued in a speech over the weekend that the four criminal indictments against him show the president is misusing the federal justice system to damage his chief political rival.

The former president has promised to prosecute Mr Biden in return if he retakes the White House next November.