Biden calls Putin a 'crazy SOB' and takes aim at Trump during fundraiser for 2024 election

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — During a fundraiser for his reelection campaign Wednesday night, President Joe 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.”

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 own legal troubles in the U.S. Trump was fined $350 million after a New York judge found he lied for years about his wealth on financial statements in his companies. Trump said the ruling was 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 and warned 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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Long reported from Washington.

Aamer Madhani And Colleen Long, The Associated Press