ElectIon 2024 Biden

President Biden escorts Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., from Marine One to attend a fundraiser in San Francisco on Wednesday. Manuel Balce Ceneta/Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO — During a fundraiser for his reelection campaign Wednesday night, President Biden called Russian President Vladimir Putin a “crazy SOB” and took aim at former President Donald Trump’s comments comparing himself to the Russian opposition leader who died last week in an Arctic prison.

Biden was talking about climate change when he said, “We have a crazy SOB like Putin and others, and we always have to worry about nuclear conflict, but the existential threat to humanity is climate.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov commented by saying that Biden’s “churlish” remark could hardly hurt Putin but was a “huge shame” for the U.S.

“Clearly, Mr. Biden behaves in the Hollywood cowboy style to serve internal political interests,” Peskov said.

Putin, in comments to Russian state TV on Thursday, called Biden’s remarks “an absolutely adequate reaction” to his earlier statement that Russia would prefer to see Biden win a second term as a more experienced and predictable politician than Donald Trump.

“Because he cannot say: ‘Volodya, well done, thank you, you helped me a lot,’” Putin said.


“We understand what is happening there from an internal political point of view, and this reaction is adequate. Which means I was right,” the Russian president added.

Speaking to donors at a private San Francisco home Wednesday as part of a three-day California swing to raise money for his 2024 reelection campaign, Biden also said he was astounded by recent comments made by his likely Republican challenger.

Trump compared the suspicious prison death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny to his legal troubles. Trump was fined $350 million after a New York judge found he lied for years about his wealth on financial statements in his companies – a ruling that Trump declared to be a form of “communism or fascism.”

“Some of the things that this fellow’s been saying, like he’s comparing himself to Navalny and saying that – because our country’s become a communist country, he was persecuted, just like Navalny was persecuted. I don’t know where the hell this comes from,” Biden said.

“I mean, if I stood here 10, 15 years ago and said any of this, you’d all think I should be committed,” he said. “It astounds me.”

“I’ve been around a long time, and I’ve never quite seen a crowd like this MAGA Republican crowd,” Biden added, referring to Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan. “They seem to have very little moral compass on what is important to people.”

During a campaign fundraiser in Beverly Hills on Tuesday night, Biden highlighted his efforts to help middle-class Americans while warning that a win in November for Trump could lead to a nationwide abortion ban, more Republican efforts to undo the health insurance program started during President Barack Obama’s administration, and more policies that would disproportionately help the wealthy.

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