Trump sets Twitter ablaze after firefighters union backs Biden

Trump sets Twitter ablaze after firefighters union backs Biden
FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during an event honoring 2018 NASCAR Cup Series Champion Joey Logano at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 30, 2019. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts -
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump fired off dozens of retweets from purported firefighters, their families and acquaintances on Wednesday in his latest assault on Joe Biden, the newest Democratic candidate for the 2020 presidential nomination.

Trump unleashed the firestorm one day after the country's largest union of firefighters endorsed Biden, the former vice president and current frontrunner in the race to become the Democratic Party's nominee for president.

Trump began his tirade at dawn by quoting a personality from the Fox News Channel, Dan Bongino, who said he knew no firefighters who would vote for Biden.

"I've done more for Firefighters than this dues sucking union will ever do, and I get paid ZERO!" Trump wrote, reiterating a complaint about unions.

As president, Trump receives a salary, but has said he donates it to various agencies and causes.

He followed the complaint by retweeting nearly 60 accounts who responded to Bongino by either criticizing Biden or professing support for Trump.

"This career firefighter will not be voting for any Democrat on the ticket. I will be voting for @POTUS again," one Twitter user, Corey Bates, said.

"I'm a retired volunteer firefighter and I'd be PISSED if my dues were going to this," said another user, Brad Turner.

Though Trump, a Republican, has publicly stated he would handily beat any Democratic opponent, some of Biden's supporters believe he may be uniquely able to capture votes from the same Midwestern states that steered Trump to victory in 2016.

Biden officially entered the race last week with a video that directly placed a target on Trump, painting him as a "threat to this nation."

Considered a frontrunner before he even declared his intention to seek the Democratic nomination, Biden has surged in the polls in the past week, with one CNN poll showing him 15 percentage points ahead of the closest competition.

Biden has not responded to the stream of tweets. But a campaign spokeswoman replied to Trump's retweets with a quip of her own.

"No, he doesn't seem concerned at all," Kate Bedingfield wrote on Twitter.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by David Gregorio)

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