Joe Biden told reporters that Donald Trump “doesn’t seem to be cognitively aware of what’s going on” after allegations that the president had ignored intelligence briefings over a possible Russian-backed plot to offer bounties to Taliban-linked militia for the killings of US troops.

“The idea that he didn’t know, or wasn’t being briefed, that’s a dereliction of duty,” he said on Tuesday. “And if he was briefed, and didn’t do anything, that’s a dereliction of duty.”

He invoked his late son Beau Biden, who served in the Iraq War, imagining how his family would react to the allegations if he was serving in Afghanistan.

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