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Biden calls Putin a ‘crazy S.O.B.’ and criticizes Trump’s Navalny comments during fundraiser

By Samantha Waldenberg, CNN

(CNN) — President Joe Biden called Russian President Vladimir Putin “a crazy S.O.B.” in a fundraiser Wednesday in San Francisco, according to the pool reporters traveling with the US president.

“We have a crazy S.O.B. that guy, Putin, others. And we always have to be worried about a nuclear conflict. But the existential threat to humanity is climate,” Biden told those gathered at the fundraiser.

In response to Biden’s comments, the Kremlin on Thursday said they were a “huge disgrace” for the United States.

Biden also criticized former President Donald Trump’s comments likening his legal troubles to the death of Russian opposition leader and Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny. The president paraphrased his predecessor’s comments before telling the attendees that “if I stood here 10 to 15 years ago and said all this, you’d all think I should be committed.”

“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. Where the hell does this comes from,” Biden said, according to reporters in the room. “If I stood here 10 to 15 years ago and said all this, you’d all think I should be committed. … It’s astounding.”

In stark contrast to Biden and other Western leaders, Trump, the 2024 Republican presidential front-runner, has yet to condemn Russia or Putin for Navalny’s death.

In recent weeks, Trump has also indicated several times that he would not defend a NATO country from a Russian attack if the country doesn’t meet spending guidelines on defense — a comment Biden slammed as an “admission that he intends to give Putin a green light for more war and violence”

Trump “is making it clear that he will abandon our NATO allies,” Biden added following the former president’s comments earlier this month.

When asked about the US president’s comments by a reporter for state-owned network Russia 1, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, “I can say that such rude statements from the head of the U.S. state are unlikely to offend in any way the head of another country, especially President Putin but this is a huge disgrace for the country, I mean for the United States of America.”

“So, if the president of such a country uses such language, it should be shameful,” he added.

“Clearly, Mr. Biden is demonstrating behavior in the style of a Hollywood cowboy to cater to domestic political interests.”

At a second fundraiser in San Francisco, Biden called Republicans in Congress the “party of chaos and division” and said they are “worse” than Strom Thurmond, a former South Carolina senator who ran for president as a segregationist in 1948.

“I’ve been a senator since ‘72. I’ve served with real racists. I’ve served with Strom Thurmond. I’ve served with all these guys that have set terrible records on race. But guess what? These guys are worse. These guys do not believe in basic democratic principles,” Biden said according to the pool traveling with him. “Time and again Republicans show they are the party of chaos and division.”

Biden also sought to draw further contrast with Trump, telling attendees that nine heads of state have told him, “You’ve got to win” in November.

“As I walk out of meetings, a head of state will find an excuse to come up close … and say, ‘You’ve got to win.’ Not because I’m so special. ‘You’ve got to win because my democracy is at stake if the other guy wins.’ Nine heads of state have done that with me,” Biden said, according to pool reporters.

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attended one of the fundraisers where the president was introduced by venture capitalist John Doerr, according to the White House.

Biden is expected to appear at another campaign event Thursday in Los Altos Hills, California, before returning to the White House in the evening.

This story has been updated with additional information.

CNN’s Kate Sullivan, Kaanita Iyer and Anna Chernova contributed to this report.

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Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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