Biden, Obama and celebrities expected to raise at least $28 million

President Biden arrived Saturday night at a star-studded fundraiser in downtown Los Angeles that is expected to raise at least $28 million, the largest cash raise for a one-night event in Democratic history.

Former President Obama, George Clooney and Julia Roberts are among the headliners at the reunion at LA Live's Peacock Theater. Thousands of Biden supporters paid between $250, for a seat away from the stage, and $500,000 (for a ticket package that includes prime seating, photos with both presidents and a VIP after-party) to attend what will likely be one of the president's events. last big fundraisers in Los Angeles before the November elections.

“This Saturday we are going to see record and unprecedented participation from the world of media and entertainment,” said media mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg, a Democratic mega-donor and the only non-elected official who is co-chairman of the president's re-election campaign. . “The enthusiasm and commitment for Biden-Harris could not be stronger. “We all understand that this is the most important election of our lives.”

Biden, who arrived at the theater shortly before 5:30 p.m., was expected to take photos with VIPs before the main event, which was scheduled to begin around 6:30 p.m.

Governor Gavin Newsom; Representatives Ted Lieu, Robert García, Nanette Diaz Barragán, Grace F. Napolitano; Los Angeles City Councilman Kevin de León; singer Paul Anka; and Katzenberg were hanging around before the fundraiser began.

The event comes at a critical time for Biden, who is competing with former President Trump for the White House in the general election.

While the Democrat has surpassed the Republican in dollars raised in California and nationally, Trump has seen an explosion of donations since he was convicted in late May of 34 felony counts of falsifying business records, some $130,000 in payments to the actor. adult film Stormy Daniels, who alleges they had sex in Lake Tahoe during a golf tournament, in an effort to influence the 2016 presidential election.

The former president's first fundraising campaign after the convictions was in California earlier this month.

The money from the two alleged nominees for 2024 passes through California at a complicated time. National and swing state polls show a tight race. And voters, some of whom are apathetic about Biden and Trump in part because of their age, are anxious about domestic economic concerns as well as global tumult: the protracted wars between Russia and Ukraine and between Israel and Hamas.

On Saturday afternoon, private security guards blocked access to LA Live, allowing pedestrians to enter only to dine at restaurants. LAPD officers wandered the sidewalks in pairs. Outside, well-dressed fundraiser attendees mingled with tourists in T-shirts.

About 125 pro-Palestinian protesters gathered around 5 p.m. in front of the Arena, shouting: “Biden, Biden, you are a liar. “We demand a ceasefire.”

Late Friday night, Biden walked out of a G-7 summit, a meeting of leaders of Western nations focused on addressing global issues such as trade, the economy and security, as well as a private meeting with Pope Francis. in Italy. After a refueling stop at an Air Force base in Maryland, the president landed in Los Angeles around dawn Saturday.

It is unknown how Biden spent the time after his landing; but his son Hunter, who was convicted of three felony weapons charges this week, lives in Malibu. In February, Biden spent about 90 minutes with her son and grandson at the Ivy restaurant on Hunter Biden's 54th birthday.

The younger Biden has not yet been sentenced on the gun charge convictions, which will almost certainly be appealed. He also faces nine federal tax-related charges in California.

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