Trump asks: Could ‘Sleepy Joe’ have done this peace deal?
Donald Trump has declared at least five more countries want to sign peace deals in the Middle East.
He has asked whether "sleepy Joe Biden" could have brokered the Middle East peace deal that he just did.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was on speaker phone with Trump in the Oval Office to discuss normalising relations between Israel and Sudan.
Mr Trump asked Mr Netanyahu: "Do you think Sleepy Joe could have made this deal, Bibi?"
"Sleepy Joe... you think he would have made this deal somehow? I don't think so," the president said.
Netanyahu appeared to remain silent on the line before answering a few seconds later.
"Well, Mr President, one thing I could tell you is we appreciate the help for peace from anyone in America and we appreciate what you've done."
NO KNOCKOUT BLOW IN FINAL US PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE
The crowd gathered on a Nashville rooftop bar was decidedly pro-Trump - some in MAGA hats, cheering and whooping as Donald Trump landed blows on his rival.
Not surprisingly, they put the President ahead of Democrat challenger Joe Biden after the second and final debate, just 10 days before election day on Tuesday week.
But what Mr Trump didn't achieve was the knockout blow he needed, and that makes his fight to retain the White House even tougher.
Trailing in almost every poll and roundly criticised for his poor handling of the pandemic, Mr Trump was seeking a game-changing moment that never came.
He went into the debate with the growing scandal over Mr Biden's son's business dealings as his main weapon, after Hunter Biden's former business partner said the Democratic candidate had leveraged his position to make millions of dollars.
Tony Bobulinski, whose name was on the email chain in an email published by the New York Post detailing business dealings between members of the Biden family and a Chinese company, told Fox News that Mr Biden was the "big guy" wanting a 10 per cent cut, who was referred to in the messages.
Mr Biden was further implicated in his son's business dealings in a text message shared by Mr Bobulinski, which warned him "don't mention Joe being involved".
It was one of several messages obtained by Fox News that apparently show Mr Bobulinski being instructed by another man involved in the scheme not to refer in written correspondence to the former vice-president in a 2017 business deal with China.
"Don't mention Joe being involved, it's only when u (sic) are face-to-face, I know u (sic) know that but they are paranoid," read the message, shared on Twitter by Fox News chief congressional correspondent Mike Emanuel.
Mr Biden said this week the reports had no merit and were part of a "smear campaign", but the Bidens have not denied Hunter owned the laptop which contained the emails and was handed to authorities and eventually the New York Post.
But even as Mr Trump threw the claims repeatedly at Mr Biden, he didn't manage to draw blood.
"If this stuff is true about Russia, Ukraine, China, other countries, Iraq, then he is a corrupt politician," Mr Trump said.
"So don't give me this stuff about how you're the guy who is the innocent baby, Joe, they are calling you a corrupt politician. I think you owe an explanation to the American people. I think you have to clean it up and talk to the American people."
In finally addressing the corruption allegations, Mr Biden said: "I have not taken a single penny from any country whatsoever."
And although Mr Trump kept trying to return to the allegations, Mr Biden held firm and held his temper.
While Mr Biden had a couple of "senior moments", changing track mid-answer, he managed to hold up his end for 90 minutes.
And Mr Trump shed the belligerent, bullying attitude he showed three weeks ago when the pair first duked it out in Cleveland
This meant Americans had their most thorough airing of policy as the candidates discussed the coronavirus, social security, immigration, race, national security and climate change policy.
Restaurant consultants and Trump supporters Rachel and Michael Klein were among a couple of dozen who gathered in Nashville ahead of the debate for some hot chicken and burgers.
Ms Klein, 45, said she believed Mr Trump performed well, but admitted that she was disappointed in his final response.
"I think Trump made some really good points," she said.
"I do think that Trump made a misstep on this last question because he should have continued to say what he would say on inauguration day. He went into who Biden is, and we won't care who Biden is on inauguration day," she said.
"I wanted to hear him say I am your American president and let's come together."
Snap polls at the end of the debate were mixed. A Fox8 poll concluded that 59 per cent believed Mr Trump won, and influential Fox commentator Sean Hannity said the moderator interrupted Mr Trump 30 times, compared to just twice for Mr Biden.
A small group of undecided North Carolina voters polled by CNN said after the debate that they were much happier with the substance this time than in the first face-off.
In the group of undecideds, nine people said they thought Mr Biden won. None thought Mr Trump had won.
CNN's "instant poll" after the debate said Mr Biden won the debate by 53 per cent to 39 per cent, compared to a winning margin of 60 per cent to 28 per cent in the first debate.
Originally published as Trump asks: Could 'Sleepy Joe' have done this peace deal?