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President Biden calls Putin a 'crazy SOB,' mocks Trump for comparing himself to Navalny

WASHINGTON ― President Joe Biden called Russian President Vladimir Putin a "crazy SOB" and mocked former President Donald Trump for comparing his legal troubles to the death of Putin dissident Alexei Navalny during a private fundraiser Wednesday night in San Francisco.

"I don’t know where the hell this comes from," Biden told supporters after bringing up Trump likening his situation to the plight of Navalny, who died last Friday under mysterious circumstances in a Russian prison. "If I stood here 10 to 15 years ago and said all this, you’d all think I should be committed."

Trump, the frontrunner for the presidential nomination, said in a social media post this week that Navalny's sudden death made him "more aware" of his own political rivals and court cases. During a Fox News town hall Tuesday, Trump called a New York judge's decision that he pay $355 million for fraudulently over-valuing his real estate empire "a form of Navalny."

Biden has blamed Putin for Navalny's death. Trump has not.

Biden, speaking at the same fundraiser, referred to Putin as a "crazy SOB" while discussing the threat of climate change.

"We have a crazy SOB like that guy Putin, and others, and we always have to worry about nuclear conflict, but the existential threat to humanity is climate," Biden said.

The U.S. has new intelligence that Russia hopes to put a nuclear weapon in space to target satellites, but White House officials have said it doesn't pose an immediate danger.

Biden's remark drew a rebuke from the Kremlin. "Such boorish statements from the mouth of a U.S. leader are hardly capable of hurting the head of another country in any way, much less President Putin," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

President Joe Biden prepares to deliver remarks on canceling student debt at Culver City Julian Dixon Library on February 21, 2024 in Culver City, California.
President Joe Biden prepares to deliver remarks on canceling student debt at Culver City Julian Dixon Library on February 21, 2024 in Culver City, California.

"But it is a great shame for the country itself," Peskov said, according to Russia state media. "It is clear that Mr. Biden is demonstrating Hollywood cowboy behavior to cater to domestic political interests."

Putin is two years into his war in Ukraine. Biden is seeking $60 billion in security assistance from Congress to aid Ukraine, but House Republicans have refused to take the bill to the floor for a vote.

Biden, known to go off script at fundraisers without television cameras around, said modern-day congressional Republicans "are worse" than segregationists he worked alongside as a senator of Delaware, including the late Sen. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina.

“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," Biden said at a second fundraiser, also in San Francisco. "But guess what? These guys are worse. These guys do not believe in basic democratic principles."

Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson called Biden's remarks "outrageous."

"The least popular president to seek re-election is now so desperate and so underwater in the polls he’s playing the race card from the bottom of the deck," Johnson said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

Reach Joey Garrison on X, formerly Twitter, @joeygarrison.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Biden calls Putin a 'crazy SOB,' mocks Trump for Navalny comparison