Former President Donald J. Trump is sharpening his attacks on the independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., as new polls show an overlap between their core supporters.

In a series of posts on his Truth Social media platform on Friday night, Mr. Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, took aim at both Mr. Kennedy and his running mate, Nicole Shanahan, a wealthy Silicon Valley lawyer and investor.

“RFK Jr. is a Democrat ‘Plant,’ a Radical Left Liberal who’s been put in place in order to help Crooked Joe Biden, the Worst President in the History of the United States, get Re-Elected,” Mr. Trump wrote.

Mr. Trump, who had privately discussed the idea of Mr. Kennedy as a running mate, echoed what Democrats have been saying for months about Mr. Kennedy’s candidacy — that it could swing the election. He also appeared to be adopting a new derisive nickname for him.

“A Vote for Junior’ would essentially be a WASTED PROTEST VOTE, that could swing either way, but would only swing against the Democrats if Republicans knew the true story about him,” he said.

Mr. Kennedy fired back on Saturday in his own social media post.

“When frightened men take to social media they risk descending into vitriol, which makes them sound unhinged,” he wrote on X. “President Trump’s rant against me is a barely coherent barrage of wild and inaccurate claims that should best be resolved in the American tradition of presidential debate.”


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