Biden campaign raises $28 million in lead up to Los Angeles fundraiser

Flying straight from the G7 summit in Italy, President Biden arrived in Los Angeles this morning for a fundraising event with former Presidents Obama and Clinton, comedian Jimmy Kimmel, and actors George Clooney and Julia Roberts. The event has already raised $28 million, which is the largest Democratic fundraiser in history, according to the Biden campaign.

Traveling across nine time zones, with a brief stop in Washington, D.C., for refueling, Biden will attend the fundraiser, hosted by Clooney and Roberts, at the Peacock Theatre Saturday night. He will shift his focus from the G7 meeting of the world’s richest democracies, where he worked on strengthening the Western coalition for Ukraine as it continues to fight against Russia.

“This Saturday we are going to see an unprecedented and record setting turn out from the media and entertainment world,” a Biden spokesperson wrote to The Hill. “The enthusiasm and commitment for Biden/Harris couldn’t be stronger. We all understand this is the most important election of our lifetime.”

While seats for the fundraiser cost anywhere from $250 to $500,000, Kimmel, Roberts and Clooney all sent out fundraising texts asking grassroots donors to chip in $20 to watch the fundraiser virtually.

During the fundraiser, Biden, Obama, Clooney, and Roberts will sit down for a moderated interview with Kimmel that is expected to focus on healthcare. Kimmel has long been a public advocate of the Affordable Care Act after his newborn son had open-heart surgery in 2017.

“It’s Jimmy Kimmel. I’m interviewing President Biden and President Barack Obama — with special guests George Clooney, Julia Roberts, and more — and you’re invited,” Kimmel wrote in a fundraising text. “Trump will hate this, so let’s do it!”

Keegan-Michael Key, Mandana Dayani, Connie Britton, Misha Collins, Jeri Ryan, Jonathan Del Arco, Blake Cooper Griffin and Adam Met will also attend, according to the Biden campaign.

Biden hosted a similar fundraiser in March at Radio City Music Hall in New York, where Stephen Colbert, a late-night host, interviewed Biden, Obama, and Clinton. The event raised $26 million.

Biden had built a fundraising edge earlier in the campaign, but former President Trump has quickly risen to the challenge, outpacing Biden’s New York event in April with a $50.5 million fundraiser in Florida. Trump also raised $141 million in May — much of this money was raised after Trump’s conviction in New York.

Biden is skipping a Global Peace Summit for Ukraine in Switzerland to attend the fundraiser, so Vice President Kamala Harris will go instead. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has expressed his displeasure with Biden’s decision, calling it “not a strong decision.”

Last month, Zelensky said that Russian President Vladimir Putin would probably “stand and applaud” Biden not coming. Putin and Russia are not invited to the summit.

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