Biden attacks Trump’s criminal status at Connecticut fundraiser

President Biden, egged on by Democrats to confront former President Donald J. Trump head-on over Mr. Trump’s criminal conviction in his New York secrecy case, responded to those calls Monday night at a rally significant fundraiser in Connecticut for his re-election campaign and for the party.

Mr. Biden denounced his rival at a reception in Greenwich, telling a group of supporters, including Connecticut’s governor and its two sitting U.S. senators, that the campaign had entered “unchartered territory” when a jury Tried Thursday Mr. Trump is guilty of all 34 counts he was charged with.

He said Mr. Trump had cemented the distinction of being the first former president and convicted felon to seek the Oval Office.

“But as worrying as this is, even more damaging is the widespread attack that Donald Trump is launching on the American justice system,” Mr. Biden said, according to a pool reporter covering the event.

Mr. Biden called Mr. Trump “disturbed” and said he was undermining another democratic institution with his vitriol after the verdict.

“It’s reckless and dangerous for anyone to say it’s rigged just because they don’t like the outcome,” he said.

A Trump campaign spokesperson, responding to a request for comment Monday evening, attacked Mr. Biden in a statement and said the president was trying to distract from the federal gun trial of his son, Hunter , which opened Monday.

Mr. Biden’s bluster at the reception hosted by Richard Plepler, the former HBO chief executive, was a notable shift in his approach toward Mr. Trump’s conviction by a Manhattan jury.

Asked by White House reporters Friday about the verdict, Mr. Biden smiled and walked away silently after making remarks about the war in Gaza. His reluctance to weigh in on the issue stems from his general strategy of avoiding personally engaging Mr. Trump about his legal woes.

Mr. Biden’s remarks at the fundraiser echoed parts of a televised statement from the White House on Friday before outlining his administration’s latest efforts to end the war between Israel and Hamas. However, Democrats had called on him to be more aggressive.

Mr. Trump’s delinquent status was not Mr. Biden’s only line of attack at the fundraiser.

Mr. Biden brought up the time when Mr. Trump suggested during a White House coronavirus briefing four years ago that bleach could be used to treat the disease, medical advice that was immediately debunked.

“He must have injected it into his brain,” Mr. Biden said, according to a pool report.

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