Biden looks to Hollywood for fundraising shock

LOS ANGELES (AP) — After flying through nine time zones from southern Italy to southern California, President Joe Biden He’s shifting his focus from Russia’s challenge to Western unity to a Hollywood fundraiser to raise big bucks for his re-election campaign. George Clooney And Julia Roberts.

Biden went straight from there Group of Seven Summits of Rich DemocraciesRussian President there Vladimir Putin Invasion of Ukraine, Los Angeles and a glittering crowd unfolding Saturday night at the Peacock Theater. The trip broke off at a refueling point outside of Washington.

Former President Barack Obama Clooney joins Roberts and the Late Night host Jimmy Kimmel He will interview them all on stage. In a text message to donors earlier, Roberts called it “a critical time in the election.” Republican nominee Donald Trump “will hate this, so let’s do it,” Kimmel wrote in his own speech.

Celebrities from the world of entertainment Many are lining up to help Biden’s campaignProvide fundraising excitement and encourage potential supporters to return before Election Day Trump.

But this time hobnobbing with the stars means Biden avoids it Summit in Switzerland About ways to finish Russia’s War in Ukraine. Vice President Kamala Harris will attend on behalf of the United States.

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It’s a stark reminder that his responsibilities as president and his re-election bid can sometimes conflict.

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

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

And yet, Trump has pulled in even bigger numbers.

He Biden’s New York event surpassed that In April, a gathering of major donors at the Florida home of billionaire investor John Paulson raised $50.5 million. The former president’s campaign and the Republican National Committee reported raising $141 million in May, more than ten million dollars after Trump’s contributions. Guilty verdict In his criminal hush money trial.

That post-punishment bump came after Trump and the Republican Party It reported raising $76 million in April, more than Biden and Democrats’ combined $51 million. And Biden eroded the fundraising advantage he had built earlier in the race.

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

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

“I want President Biden to come in person,” he said late last month, predicting that Putin would “stand and applaud” without Biden. Putin and the Russian delegation also did not go to the summit.

Biden’s fundraiser was expected to draw protests from pro-Palestinian activists angry at his administration’s handling of it. Israel’s War Against Hamas In Gaza. Such demonstrations have become common wherever Biden has traveled in recent months, including outside his Radio City Music Hall fundraiser.

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Weissert reported from Washington.

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