Nikki Haley went after both of her presidential election rivals on Thursday, joking that former President Trump should hire President Biden’s legal team after a federal special counsel declined to charge Biden with crimes related to holding classified documents.
Trump himself faces criminal charges related to illegally holding classified documents after he left the White House. The special counsel in the Biden investigation said Biden did hold documents, but that his actions were not criminal.
“The double standard is glaring. Both Joe Biden and Donald Trump were reckless with classified documents,” Haley said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “If Biden’s defense is old age and forgetfulness, Trump can easily make the same claim. Trump should quickly hire Biden’s lawyers.”
The Biden special counsel described the president as an “elderly man with a poor memory” in declining to charge him, a characterization Biden’s attorneys disputed. The special counsel said Biden at times forgot what years he served as vice president, and the exact year his son died.
Trump has been hit with similar claims of old age taking its toll on memory and behavior. Either of the likely candidates, 81-year-old Biden or 79-year-old Trump, would be the oldest president in U.S. history at the end of a second term.
Haley has honed in on the age argument against Trump, claiming that the former president isn’t the same man that she supported in 2016 and that she represents a new, younger generation of GOP leaders.
She trails Trump significantly in national polls but has pinned her hopes on a strong South Carolina primary finish. A home state win for the former Palmetto State governor could turn the tides of the GOP primary, which has so far favored Trump by a wide margin.
Doubling down on Biden, Haley said Thursday that the president should take a mental competency test, a demand she first made when she launched her presidential campaign last year.
“Joe Biden can’t remember major events in his life, like when he was vice president or when his son died,” Haley said in a statement from her campaign. “That is sad, but it will be even sadder if we have a person in the White House who is not mentally up to the most important job in the world. Joe Biden should take a mental competency test immediately, and it should be shared with the public.”