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Biden again calls Trump a 'convicted felon' at a fundraiser, pushing his five-day total to around US$40M

U.S. President Joe Biden and Bill Clinton participate in a fundraising event, March 28, 2024, in New York. (Alex Brandon/AP Photo) U.S. President Joe Biden and Bill Clinton participate in a fundraising event, March 28, 2024, in New York. (Alex Brandon/AP Photo)
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MCLEAN, VA. -

U.S. President Joe Biden emphasized Donald Trump's criminal cases Tuesday night, again calling his likely opponent in November’s election a “convicted felon” during an event with former U.S. president Bill Clinton that raised US$8 million and pushed the total Biden's reelection campaign has collected over just five days to roughly US$40 million.

The vast majority of the US$40 million, confirmed by the Biden campaign, comes from Saturday's glitzy fundraiser with movie stars and former president Barack Obama in Los Angeles that raised more than US$30 million. First lady Jill Biden also has been on her own personal fundraising swing that has brought in US$1.5 million.

Biden and Clinton, who appeared together with Obama at a March fundraiser at Radio City Music Hall in New York, headlined Tuesday’s event, held at the home of former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a longtime Clinton adviser. Author John Grisham, Jill Biden and former first lady Hillary Clinton also attended the event in McLean, Virginia, a tony Washington suburb.

Biden told a backyard crowd of about 450 that Trump was desperate and “the threat Trump poses in a second term will be greater than his first," while referencing the former president's 34 felony convictions in a New York hush money case.

“For the first time in American history, a former president is a convicted felon,” Biden said, adding, “But, as disturbing as that is, more damning is the all-out assault Trump is making on our system of justice.”

Biden has for weeks personally decried the former president for claiming that the case against him was politically motivated, saying “it’s reckless, it’s dangerous, it’s irresponsible for anyone to say this was rigged just because they don’t like the verdict.”

But Biden's campaign has launched a US$50 million ad buy through the end of June that includes its first television ad highlighting Trump's conviction, signaling they see the case as an issue of political strength heading into Election Day.

Before Biden took the stage, McAuliffe joked that the gathering he helped organize competed with the Hollywood big bucks.

U.S. President Joe Biden talks with former President Bill Clinton during an event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Feb. 2, 2023.

“We don't need all those movie stars and jugglers and singers and farm animals, whatever they got,” McAuliffe said of the Los Angeles event.

He also laughed when declaring to Biden: "When you win again, I am offering myself right now. … I will mow the lawn at the White House.”

Hillary Clinton compared herself in 2016 to Cassandra in Greek mythology, who could see the future but wasn't believed, saying, "That's how I felt in 2016, when I was raising the alarm about Donald Trump.”

Now, though, she said: "We can all understand how dangerous it would be ever to entrust him and his allies and his enablers to lead our country. He did such tremendous damage.”

Clinton said it was hard to understand why people who lived through the COVID-19 pandemic and Trump's presidency could still support the Republican, but “sadly, there are many of our fellow Americans who seem willing to take that risk.” She also called Trump a “clear and present danger.”

Bill Clinton thanked donors for their money and said of the Biden campaign, “They will do a good job spending it.” He said of Biden, “I’ve watched him do this job with standards and values and with great impact.”

Biden reelection campaign spokesman Kevin Munoz said: “Our supporters understand the stakes. The cash we raised since Friday means more ads, more organizers, and more direct contacts with the voters who will decide this close election in November — meanwhile Trump continues to scramble after having zero resources or presence in battleground states for months.”

Last weekend's Los Angeles event — which also featured actors George Clooney and Julia Roberts in addition to Biden and Obama — was the largest single fundraiser in Democratic Party history.

Biden has ramped up his fundraising sprint as Trump shows signs that he is gaining ground in the money game. For instance, Trump raised US$50.5 million at an April gathering of major donors at the Florida home of billionaire investor John Paulson.

The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee say they've raised US$141 million in May, padded by tens of millions of dollars in contributions that flowed in after Trump’s guilty verdict in his criminal hush money trial. The Biden campaign has yet to release its May fundraising figures. 

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