George Clooney among A-listers helping Joe Biden gala raise record $28m

Joe Biden with George Clooney, Julia Roberts and Barack Obama at the Democratic fundraiser
Joe Biden with George Clooney, Julia Roberts and Barack Obama

Joe Biden’s star-studded Los Angeles gala has raked in $28 million (£22 million) in donations, setting a new record for a single Democratic fundraising event.

The sum was announced after the US president’s appearance with Barack Obama and Hollywood leading lights George Clooney, Julia Roberts and comedian Jimmy Kimmel.

The previous record was $26 million which the Biden campaign amassed at a New York event in March.

In recent weeks, there are signs that the Trump campaign has been out-fundraising Biden’s, having previously been trailing.
But Trump has failed to woo the A-listers and Hollywood set.

The fundraiser in LA was centred around a conversation between Mr Biden and Mr Obama, moderated by Kimmel.

“I think part of what has happened over the last several years is we’ve normalised behaviour that used to be disqualifying,” Mr Obama said.

And Mr Biden warned that a Donald Trump victory could enable him to appoint two more conservative justices on the Supreme Court.

Mr Biden also brought up Trump’s handling of the pandemic.

“Remember the pandemic? He said just don’t worry, just inject a little bleach,” the president said.

“It worked for me,” Kimmel quipped.

“It worked for Trump,” Biden responded. “It coloured his hair.”

Figures announced in May showed that Mr Biden, the Democratic national committee and other linked fundraising bodies pulled in $51 million in April, a sharp decrease on the $90 million it announced for the previous month.

Mr Biden and Mr Obama share a joke at the star-studded fundraiser in LA
Mr Biden and Mr Obama share a joke at the star-studded fundraiser in LA

Trump’s political operation raised more than $76 million, with much of the cash coming in after he was convicted on 34 felony counts in New York.

And last month, the Trump campaign said it had raised $141 million, as the cash continued to pour in. The figure has still to be verified by the Federal Election Commission.

Despite the surge in Trump’s fundraising, his campaign has $49 million cash in hand compared to Mr Biden’s $84 million.

Trump, who has just turned 78, has continued to challenge 81-year-old Mr Biden’s ability to carry on as president.

But in challenging Mr Biden to a “cognitive test”, Trump dropped a gaffe of his own when he said his White House physician who carried out his assessment was Ronny Johnson – not Ronny Jackson.

Dr Jackson, who Trump said described him as the “healthiest president in history”, has since been elected as a Republican member of the House of Representatives.