Biden turns to Hollywood for fundraising

LOS ANGELES (AP) — After flying through nine time zones at night, from southern Italy to Southern California, President Joe Biden is shifting his attention from challenging Russia’s western unity to focusing on raising large sums of money for his re-election campaign at a Hollywood fundraiser featuring George Clooney And Julia Robert.

Biden went straight from Group of Seven Summit of Rich Democracieswhere the Russian president that of Vladimir Putin The invasion of Ukraine took center stage in Los Angeles and at Saturday night’s glitzy rally at the Peacock Theater. The trip was interrupted only by a refueling stop outside Washington.

Former President Barack Obama joins headliners Clooney and Roberts, and late-night host Jimmy Kimmel will interview them all on stage. In an earlier text message to donors, Roberts called it a “crucial moment in the election.” Kimmel wrote in his own text that presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump “will hate this, so let’s do it.”

Lights from the world of entertainment have increasingly lined up to help Biden’s campaignhoping to boost fundraising and inspire potential supporters to mobilize before Election Day against Asset.

But hobnobbing with the stars this time means Biden skips a summit in Switzerland on ways to end Russia’s war in Ukraine. Vice President Kamala Harris represents the United States.

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It’s a stark reminder that his responsibilities as president and his re-election efforts can sometimes be contradictory.

“We are going to see unprecedented and record turnout from the media and entertainment world,” Jeffrey Katzenberg, the Hollywood mogul, top Democratic donor and co-chairman of Biden’s campaign, said in a statement.

A Biden fundraiser in March at Radio City Music Hall in New York, late-night host Stephen Colbert interviewed the president, Obama and former president Bill Clinton. It raised a record $26 million, but the California event will bring in at least $28 million, according to the Biden campaign.

Yet Trump has raked in even bigger numbers.

He preempted Biden’s New York event In April, raised $50.5 million at a major donor gathering at the Florida home of billionaire investor John Paulson. The former president’s campaign and the Republican National Committee announced they raised a whopping $141 million in May, supplemented by tens of millions of dollars in contributions made after Trump’s victory. guilty verdict in his criminal trial for money.

This post-conviction bump came after Trump and the Republican Party announced it raised $76 million in April, far surpassing Biden and Democrats’ $51 million for the month and reduce a fundraising advantage that Biden built earlier in the race.

With Biden absent from the Ukraine meeting, Harris will make the round trip to Switzerland in just over 24 hours.

In a joint appearance with the Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky At the G7 summit, Biden said Harris would be a strong representative of his administration at the meeting. But Zelenskyy previously suggested it was “not a strong decision” for Biden to miss the event.

“I would like President Biden to be personally present,” he said late last month, predicting that Putin would “stand up and applaud” if Biden did not come. Putin and Russian representatives will also not attend the summit.

Biden’s fundraiser was expected to spark protests from pro-Palestinian activists angry at his administration’s handling of the crisis. Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza. Such protests have become common everywhere Biden goes in recent months, including outside his fundraiser at Radio City Music Hall.

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Weissert reported from Washington.

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