NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) - President Donald Trump used a closed-door gathering with US diplomats at the United Nations to attack Democratic rival Joe Biden and disparage a whistle-blower complaint over his controversial call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy now at the heart of an impeachment inquiry.
"We're at war," Mr Trump said, referring to the whistle-blower in a 15-minute video obtained by Bloomberg News.
"These people are sick. They're sick."
"I want to know who's the person, who's the person who gave the whistle-blower the information? Because that's close to a spy," he added.
An audio recording of some of the comments was posted online earlier by the Los Angeles Times.
He added what appeared to be a thinly veiled threat: "You know what we used to do in the old days when we were smart? Right? The spies and treason, we used to handle it a little differently than we do now."
Mr Trump's address to the US mission to the UN wandered freely from Mr Biden to his 2016 election, from coal miners to the size of Democratic Representative Adam Schiff's neck: "He's got a neck about this big," the President said as he pressed his index finger to his thumb.
"He's got shirts that are too big because you can't buy shirts that are that small."
Mr Trump repeated his claims that former vice-president Biden helped his son, Mr Hunter Biden, improperly win millions in dollars in business from Ukraine and China.
Those claims have been at the centre of the controversy over the President's call with Mr Zelenskiy in which he implores the Ukrainian leader to investigate the Bidens.
He referred to Mr Biden as "Sleepy Joe Biden" who's "dumb as a rock".
Mr Trump also disparaged the media coverage of his meeting in New York on Wednesday with Mr Zelenskiy and called the whistle-blower "highly partisan".
"Basically, that person never saw the report, never saw the call, he never saw the call, heard something and decided that he or she, or whoever the hell they saw - they're almost a spy," Mr Trump said of the whistle-blower.