President Joe Biden kicked off a weekend of fundraising activity in Los Angeles Friday night, speaking at an event, which also featured Steven Spielberg and Shonda Rhimes.
As the first Hollywood-centric fundraiser of his reelection campaign, Biden used his time on the stage to call out Donald Trump and explain why he poses the “greatest threat” to democracy.
“This is an incredibly successful night,” the president said at the beginning of his speech, according to the Associated Press, before joking that he didn’t want to talk long because he was “the only thing standing between you and Lenny Kravitz.”
The Grammy-winning singer performed at the event hosted by celebrity interior designer Michael Smith and his partner, James Costos. The latter of whom said earlier that supporters from across the country came to attend the fundraiser: “This is not just a Hollywood gathering, it’s more like a national event.”
Biden proceeded to call Trump, who is also seeking reelection in the upcoming race, “the first losing president and candidate in history who refused to accept the result” of the 2020 election.
“He refused to show up at my inauguration. I can’t say I was disappointed,” Biden added, according to the AP. ”My guess is he won’t show up at the next inauguration.”
The fundraiser Friday night also featured Barbra Streisand, Rob Reiner, David Geffen and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. California Gov. Gavin Newsom and L.A. Mayor Karen Bass were also in attendance.
Other co-hosts included Jim Gianopulos, former chairman of Paramount Pictures; Wendy Schmidt, wife of former Google CEO Eric Schmidt; Bob Tuttle, who served as U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom under Republican President George W. Bush; and his wife, Maria Hummer Tuttle.
The AP also reported that hundreds of protesters demonstrating against the Biden administration’s support for Israel during its war with Hamas could be heard nearby, chanting and blowing whistles.
Biden is set to attend several additional public and private events over the weekend, including a fundraising meeting on Saturday at the home of Jeffrey Katzenberg, co-founder of DreamWorks Pictures and one of the Biden campaign’s national co-chairs.