Former President Donald Trump has suggested that President Joe Biden wouldn’t be “physically” able to attend the coronation of the U.K.’s King Charles III this Saturday.
Trump made the remarks during an interview with Nigel Farage of GB News, which aired on Wednesday as the former president spent time at his golf course in Ireland.
The former president has recently demurred when asked about Biden’s age—the president is currently 80 years old and the oldest ever serving commander-in-chief—but Trump’s comments could be an indication that he will make Biden’s age a campaign issue.
Farage, a former member of the European Parliament and one of the most prominent supporters of the U.K.’s departure from the European Union, asked Trump about Biden not attending this week’s coronation.
“I don’t think he can do it physically, actually,” Trump said. “I think that it’s hard for him to do it physically. I think getting over here for him—he’s got a lot of things going and a lot of strange things happen but certainly, he should be here as our representative, of our country,” Trump said.
“I was surprised when I heard that he wasn’t coming. You would think he would be here. He’ll be in Delaware where he spends a lot of time. He spent a lot of time there during the election.”
That remark appeared to be a reference to criticism Trump and his allies levied against Biden during the 2020 presidential election when some accused him of campaigning from his “basement.”
Biden took part in limited in-person events during the 2020 election due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“I was very surprised, I think it’s very disrespectful for him not to be here,” Trump told Farage.
No serving U.S. president has ever attended the coronation of a British monarch but First Lady Jill Biden will reportedly lead the U.S. delegation to the event.
Biden paid a four-day visit to Ireland and Northern Ireland in April, while Trump visited his golf courses in Scotland this week and traveled to Ireland on Wednesday to visit his property at Doonbeg, County Clare.
Trump’s comments about Biden’s physical health could suggest the former president intends to make the president’s age and state of health an election issue.
However, Trump has previously appeared reluctant to comment on Biden’s health and argued that the president’s age is not an issue. At 76 years old, Trump is only four years Biden’s junior.
“When they talk about Biden being old, he’s not old,” Trump told former White House advisor Steve Bannon in an interview last week.
“I have friends that are 85, 90, 93—you look at Bernie Marcus, he’s 100 percent and he’s 94, 95. Biden’s not old, that’s not his problem. He’s got other problems but he doesn’t have [an] old problem,” Trump said.
He was referring to billionaire Home Depot co-founder Bernie Marcus, the founder of the conservative advocacy group Job Creators Network, who is 93.
During an interview with Fox News in March, host Sean Hannity pressed the former president on his apparent unwillingness to say Biden was in “cognitive decline.”
“Why are you reluctant to say he looks like he’s in a cognitive decline?” Hannity asked.
“Because I don’t want to say that. I don’t think it’s appropriate for me. You can say it,” Trump replied.
Newsweek has reached out to the White House via email for comment.