Former US President Donald Trump has castigated the current incumbent, Joe Biden, as an “enemy of the state”. In an appearance before supporters in the town of Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on Saturday, Trump accused his successor of delivering “the most vicious, hateful and divisive speech any American president has ever made.”

Trump was referring to Biden’s speech on Thursday in the metropolis of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania. In it, the President had branded his predecessor and his political allies as a threat to US democracy. Biden delivered his speech in front of the historic Independence Hall building, where the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution were passed.

“Donald Trump and the Maga Republicans embody an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic,” Biden said. “Maga” is short for Trump’s slogan “Make America great again”.

Trump now countered by saying: “The Republicans in the Maga movement are not the ones who are trying to undermine our democracy.” He called out to his supporters: “We are the ones who are trying to save our democracy (… ). The threat to democracy comes from the radical left, not the right.”

The vehement rhetorical long-distance duel between Trump and Biden took place around two months before the so-called midterm elections, in which the entire House of Representatives and part of the Senate in Washington will be re-elected.

Even though Biden’s Democrats have recently increased in the polls, they still have to fear losing their previous majorities in both chambers to Trump’s Republicans. This would make it much more difficult for Biden to govern in the second half of his four-year term.

In his Wilkes-Barre speech, Trump vented his anger at the FBI’s raid on his home in Mar-a-Lago, Florida. He called the raid “one of the most shocking abuses of power by a government in American history.” At the same time, he ominously warned that this raid would provoke a “backlash like no one has ever seen”.

Among other things, Trump is suspected of violating an espionage law. It contains strict guidelines for the retention of national security documents. US Presidents are required to hand over all official documents to the National Archives upon leaving office.

During the Aug. 8 raid on Trump’s luxury home, FBI officials seized dozens of documents classified as “top secret,” “secret,” and “confidential,” according to the Justice Department.