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'Are you a junkie?' Joe Biden bristles when reporter asks him about taking a cognitive test


Bart Jansen   | USA TODAY
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Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, bristled Wednesday at a reporter's question about taking a cognitive test, comparing it to asking his interviewer whether he was “taking cocaine” or “a junkie.”

President Donald Trump has attacked Biden for his mental capabilities while boasting about his own performance during a cognitive exam. The clash prompted a question to Biden about whether he'd had a cognitive test during an interview with Errol Barnett, a CBS reporter, for the National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

"No, I haven't taken a test. Why the hell would I take a test?" Biden said during the interview, a full version of which will air Thursday. "Come on, man. That's like saying you, before you got on this program, you take a test where you're taking cocaine or not. What do you think? Huh? Are you a junkie?"

Trump, 74, has bragged about his performance on a cognitive test in 2018. The President's then-physician Ronny Jackson said Trump received a perfect score on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment, a roughly 10-minute test used by doctors to detect "mild cognitive dysfunction" and asks the patient to perform a simple batch of memory and mental tasks.

Jenna Ellis, a senior legal adviser to Trump's campaign, tweeted "yikes" in reaction to the video.

Republicans have joined Trump in repeatedly questioning Biden’s mental fitness, highlighting video questions where Biden, 77, stumbles over words or loses his train of thought.

“When does it become elder abuse?” the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., asked Wednesday in a tweet.

But Biden questioned the extent of Trump's test and said he's eager to debate the president.

"Well, if he can't figure out the difference between an elephant and a lion, I don't know what the hell he's talking about," Biden said in the CBS interview.  "I'm so forward-looking to have an opportunity to sit with the president or stand with the president and the debates."