'Grow up, Donald,' Biden tells US President-elect

WASHINGTON • US Vice-President Joe Biden has told 70-year-old Donald Trump to "grow up", after the President-elect mocked the top- ranking Senate Democrat as "head clown" and disparaged the intelligence community.

"Grow up, Donald. Grow up," Mr Biden said in an interview with PBS NewsHour's Ms Judy Woodruff. "Time to be an adult. You are president. You have got to do something. Show us what you have."

He spoke after Mr Trump, in a tweet, referred to Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat, as the party's "head clown". Earlier this week, Mr Trump speculated in a tweet that intelligence agency leaders decided to wait until yesterday to brief him on findings that Russian intelligence was behind election hacking of Democratic officials' e-mails because they "perhaps" needed "more time to build a case".

The rebuke from Mr Biden comes as tensions between the Trump transition team and the White House flared in recent weeks.

Mr Biden said a declassified report set to be released next week would show "overwhelming evidence" that "Russia did engage in an effort to impact on the elections".

TIME TO BE AN ADULT

Grow up, Donald. Grow up. Time to be an adult. You are president. You have got to do something. Show us what you have.

MR JOE BIDEN, US Vice-President.

Last week, in a tweet, Mr Trump accused the Obama administration of "inflammatory" statements and "roadblocks".

President Barack Obama and his successor subsequently spoke by phone, and both sides described the conversation as positive. But there have been clear public disagreements after Mr Trump attacked the administration's decision to abstain from a United Nations Security Council vote declaring Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal.

Earlier on Thursday, the President's director of national intelligence, Mr James Clapper, testified to Congress that Mr Trump's tweets were impacting morale within the intelligence community.

The same day, former Central Intelligence Agency director James Woolsey resigned as senior adviser to Mr Trump because of growing tensions over the President-elect's vision for intelligence agencies.

The departure of Mr Woolsey, a veteran of four presidential administrations and one of the nation's leading intelligence experts, comes amid frustrations over the incoming administration's national security plans and Mr Trump's public comments undermining the intelligence community.

People close to Mr Woolsey said he had been excluded in recent weeks from discussions of intelligence matters with Mr Trump and incoming White House national security adviser Michael Flynn.

They also said that Mr Woolsey was taken aback by this week's reports that Mr Trump is considering revamping the country's intelligence framework.

BLOOMBERG, WASHINGTON POST

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 07, 2017, with the headline ''Grow up, Donald,' Biden tells US President-elect'. Print Edition | Subscribe