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Biden takes swipes at Trump, calls Putin a 'crazy SOB' at San Francisco campaign fundraiser

Protesters gather near President Biden campaign event to call for Gaza cease-fire
Protesters gather near President Biden campaign event to call for Gaza cease-fire 02:53

President Joe Biden came out swinging during a reelection campaign fundraiser in San Francisco Wednesday, taking aim at Republican rival Donald Trump and calling Russian President Vladimir Putin a "crazy SOB."

The comments were made at the first of two San Francisco fundraisers the president appeared at Wednesday. The late afternoon event was held at the home of investor and venture capitalist John Doerr.

While most of the president's comments were focused on the "existential threat" of climate change, he managed to unload on two of his prime targets of late.

Biden singled out former President Donald Trump's recent comments that likened his legal troubles to the treatment Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny received leading up to his suspicious death in an Arctic penal colony last week.

"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 added. "It astounds me."

The president also disparaged the influence Trump currently holds over the Republican Party, saying the GOP once had an "American moral center, but that seems to be lost."  

Biden also singled out Vladimir Putin during his comments at the fundraiser.

"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," he said.

On Thursday, President Biden met with Yulia and Dasha Navalnaya, Navalny's widow and daughter, to offer his condolences for their loss and promised new sanctions against Russia in response to his death.  

Biden has previously blamed Putin for Navalny's death, saying the U.S. wasn't sure what exactly happened, but that it was "a consequence of something that Putin and his thugs did."   

President Biden landed at San Francisco International Airport a few hours earlier Wednesday afternoon to continue his current California campaign fundraising run, flying in from Los Angeles in Air Force One.

Biden was met at SFO by Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi and San Francisco Mayor London Breed. Pelosi also accompanied the president on the Marine One helicopter flight to San Francisco's Marina Green, where the continued on to the Doerr fundraiser.

Biden also singled out Pelosi for praise during his comments. The former speaker was sitting in the front row at the event. He called her "boss" and thanked her for her efforts passing significant legislation. 

"She is the best Speaker of the House I think there has ever been," Biden said. "Thank God she was mostly on our side." 

Pro-Palestinian supporters gathered to call for a cease fire in Gaza Wednesday, protesting in Pacific Heights just blocks from where the Biden campaign event was being held.

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