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Gun group vows to 'defend' Trump's concealed carry license after conviction

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Gun group vows to 'defend' Trump's concealed carry license after conviction

A Second Amendment group is vowing to sue the New York Police Department in an effort to defend former President Donald Trump’s concealed carry license after his felony conviction in the hush money trial.

The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb said in a press release on June 6 that the group is willing to “challenge the law” to defend Trump’s ownership of firearms.

“If Donald Trump is further prosecuted for owning firearms,” Gottlieb said, “we will offer to defend him and challenge the law.”

CONNECTICUT RESIDENTS FORM ARMED GROUP TO DEFEND AGAINST VIOLENT CRIME

Donald Trump arrives to Trump Tower, Thursday, May 30, 2024 after being found guilty on 34 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. (Felipe Ramales for Fox News Digital)

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The group’s promise to take on the New York court system came despite the state’s law mandating that convicted felons are not allowed to have firearm permits.

Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon is a federal crime.

Gun owner shoots rifle

A Gun Owners of America supporter shoots a rifle at a range. The Second Amendment Foundation announced that they would sue the New York Police Department if they confiscate former President Donald Trump’s guns following his conviction. (Gun Owners of America)

SAF said their organization’s position has always been that, “someone should not lose his or her gun rights due to a conviction of a non-violent crime.” 

Trump’s concealed carry license was first revoked in April 2023 when he was indicted for the hush money trial in New York.

NUMBER OF NEW GUN OWNERS SINCE 2020 ELECTION SURGED TO EQUAL POPULATION OF FLORIDA: REPORT

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Gottlieb said the former president “should not lose his Second Amendment rights.”

“Donald Trump has no history of violent crime,” Gottlieb explained. “Under the Supreme Court’s 2022 Bruen ruling, which requires gun laws to have some analogous connection to historical regulation at the time the Founders wrote the Constitution and Bill of Rights, Mr. Trump should not lose his Second Amendment rights.”

“There is no historical nexus to deny someone, including Trump, of their gun rights over such a conviction,” he said.

Donald Trump attends his criminal trial

Republican presidential candidate, former U.S. President Donald Trump attends his criminal trial at the New York State Supreme Court in New York, New York, Wednesday, May, 29, 2024.  (Doug Mills/Pool via REUTERS)

The founder said that the NYPD’s preparation to revoke Trump’s gun license highlights the need for reform in gun rights legislation.

“The attack on Trump’s gun rights emphasizes the need to revisit existing gun control laws and change them to protect an individual’s gun rights,” Gottlieb observed. “Until that happens, we will be more than happy to meet New York State or the federal government in court.”

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If SAF was to pursue a lawsuit against the NYPD, they have experience.

Semiautomatic rifles

Gun wall rack with rifles. (iStock)

SAF Executive Director Adam Kraut said that the gun group has “litigated challenges in the past to restore gun rights for people convicted of non-violent crimes.”

“SAF has litigated challenges in the past to restore gun rights for people convicted of non-violent crimes, and we will do so again,” Kraut said. “In fact, we are currently litigating a challenge to the denial of carry permits for some former plaintiffs whose rights were restored due to prior SAF lawsuits.”

Gottlieb said that the foundation has 60 cases currently in progress, and has won decisions that have landed in the U.S. Supreme Court.

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“Our motto is ‘Winning Gun Rights One Lawsuit at a Time,’” Gottlieb stated. “That will include protecting and winning Donald Trump’s gun rights.”

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Exclusive: Trump takes debate prep to campaign trail, calls it a winning strategy

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Exclusive: Trump takes debate prep to campaign trail, calls it a winning strategy

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As we get closer to the CNN Presidential Debate, both President Biden and former President Donald Trump are now preparing to take the stage.

Biden is prepping out at Camp David, while Trump hit the campaign trail in Philadelphia. Fox News Correspondent Alexis McAdams caught up with Trump before his rally to find out how he is getting ready.

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“Well, this is really the best strategy right here. We have all these people out here and they are screaming questions. I look forward to the debate,” Trump said.

Trump asked the crowd during his rally at Temple University what his approach should be on stage.

CNN DEBATE MODERATOR JAKE TAPPER’S SHARPEST ANTI-TRUMP COMMENTARY OVER THE YEARS

President Biden is set to go head-to-head with former President Trump on Thursday in the first general election debate of 2024. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

“How should I handle him? Should I be tough and nasty, and just say, ‘you’re the worst president in history.’ Or should I be nice and calm and let him speak?” Trump asked.

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Though no matter his demeanor, Trump told Fox News that he is not worried about Biden’s debate preparations and feels confident in his own ability.

“Well, I think if he prepares, he’ll be fine. Then he will forget it within about an hour after preparing. So, we’ll see what happens. We’ll see what happens,” Trump said.

The former president is on a swing state tour, recently hitting Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Pennsylvania – a list of states Trump won back in 2016 but lost in 2020. According to recent polls, Trump is doing better in those states this time around. Gaining support with young and nonwhite voters, who say they are upset with Biden’s handling of the economy and Gaza.

According to a recent Marist College Poll, Trump is leading Biden by two points in Pennsylvania, a key state on the road to the White House. Trump told Fox News he could be anywhere, but is choosing to stop in urban areas, including a cheese steak shop in South Philly.

TRUMP SAYS ‘FEW COMMUNITIES HAVE SUFFERED MORE UNDER THE BIDEN REGIME THAN PHILADELPHIA’ IN RALLY STOP

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“It’s not a game plan. It’s just there’s a lot of love. You know, they want hope. There’s no hope with this guy. Biden is the worst president we’ve ever had. There’s no hope. I’m saying the people need hope. I go out, I see the greatest people. So, we’re in the middle of a pretty rough area and it’s a love fest,” said Trump.

Trump at his Philadelphia rally

Former President Trump appears at his Philadelphia rally on June 22, 2024. (Anna Moneymaker/Jim Watson/Getty Images)

Some voters waited for hours outside the rally in record heat. Many said they wanted to hear more about the former president’s plans to fix the border, crime and inflation. This, as a recent Fox News Poll found, 32 % of voters say the economy is in excellent or good shape. It is the highest approval rating on the topic so far during Biden’s presidency. Though, the sentiment seems to be negative when you talk with voters.

“I need to make money to feed my family. I used to pay $200 a week for groceries… now I pay $450 a week. I’m not even making that anymore. So, it’s killing me,” said one Philadelphia voter.

TRUMP, BIDEN AIM TO USE DUELING RALLIES IN THESE STATES POST-DEBATE TO PUT EACH OTHER ON DEFENSE

So far, Trump has not announced a vice president pick. But, said he does know who he will choose.

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Well, if you knew that, you would probably be up for a major raise. We have a lot of viewers who say, ‘who do you like, who do you like? ’There are so many different answers. We have a lot of good ones. I’ll be announcing it right around the time of the convention,” Trump said.

Joe Biden talking at podium, making a fist

President Biden speaks in North Carolina – a state he’ll visit again shortly after the CNN Debate. (SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

After the debate, both candidates plan to stay in the South. Biden will stop in North Carolina, a state he lost to Trump back in 2020.

Trump will head to a rally in Virginia. It has been two decades since a Republican carried the commonwealth state in the race for the White House. The former president plans to change that.

“We are actually two points up in Virginia. Virginia is not a state that a Republican generally wins and has not won in decades. We are leading in Virginia, and we are leading in Minnesota. That one hasn’t been won since 1972. I think we’re going to win a lot of places that people never even thought about, because our country is in dire shape to put it mildly. It’s doing badly,” Trump said.

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Column: Two years after the Supreme Court's abortion decision, meet the expert on post-Roe America

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Column: Two years after the Supreme Court's abortion decision, meet the expert on post-Roe America

For two years, ever since the Supreme Court overturned the constitutional right to abortion, the country has waged a fierce fight over women’s health, government’s reach, individual choice and efforts to either ban or guarantee access to the procedure.

Standing athwart that conflict is Mary Ziegler: Interpreter, guide, prognosticator.

Whenever a law is passed, a court decision rendered, a medical horror story surfaced — which happens not infrequently — Ziegler is invariably asked to weigh in from her perch at UC Davis. She’s given as many as 15 interviews in a day.

That ubiquitous presence, Ziegler’s frequent written commentary and the six books she’s published, with a seventh on the way, have made the 42-year-old law school professor, in the estimation of historian David Garrow, the preeminent authority on the past 50 years of abortion wars.

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“One of the hallmarks of Ziegler’s scholarship,” he noted in a laudatory 2021 book review, “is her outreach to activists and litigators on both sides.”

That’s why she’s a trusted and valuable source, residing on the speed-dial of countless reporters nationwide.

Ziegler, who came to Davis in 2022 by way of Florida State University, didn’t set out to become a one-stop clearinghouse for history, commentary and abortion arcana. Her inquisitiveness led her there.

She developed her interest in the mid-2000s, as a Harvard Law School student.

A professed “legal history nerd,” Ziegler found a dearth of scholarly research on the social and political fallout from Roe vs. Wade, the 1973 decision spelling out a constitutional right to abortion. She began diving into digitized newspaper archives, to learn more, and started writing, prolifically, on the subject.

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Initially, “I didn’t think I would do anything professionally,” Ziegler said last week over lunch in this bayside enclave she calls home. “What interested me was just pure curiosity.”

“At the time,” she added, with a laugh, her scholarship “obviously wasn’t as relevant as it turned out to be later.”

(Ziegler’s father, a French professor, urged her to pursue a career that was practical and reasonably well-paying. She considered medicine, but doesn’t like the sight of blood. So law school it was.)

Ziegler, who published her first book-length treatment of the abortion issue in 2015, didn’t necessarily anticipate the reversal of Roe, which helped turn her into a quasi-legal and media celebrity. While opponents continuously sought to chip away at the landmark ruling, many considered the matter “settled law” — which is how Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh described Roe in 2018 as he faced Senate confirmation. (In 2022, Kavanaugh was part of the 5-4 ruling in Dobbs vs. Jackson that overturned the nearly half-century-old decision.)

The day the court issued that ruling, Ziegler burrowed into her work, writing furiously and conducting a long series of back-to-back-to-back interviews. When she finished, she broke down and cried.

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It wasn’t just the striking down of a constitutional right, said Ziegler, an avowed feminist and supporter of legalized abortion.

“I remember reading Dobbs and the idea that somehow this was going to make it better and people were going to stop fighting. I remember thinking that is definitely not going to happen,” she said. “I thought about all the unintended consequences it was going to have” such as denial of urgent medical care — even in cases unrelated to abortion.

“That doesn’t mean I disparage people who think abortion is wrong. But, to me, criminalizing it and all that comes with that has always been a dark part of American history. I saw it setting us on a path to more conflict, not less.”

Which has proven abundantly true.

Ziegler sees the next several years as a push-pull between conservative judges, anti-abortion lawmakers and the majority of Americans who, by and large, wish to keep abortion legal and accessible.

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(Bill Lax / UC Davis)

In a recent piece on Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis and her gubernatorial ambitions, your friendly columnist ventured to say abortion rights were rock-solid in California, with its constitutional guarantee and Democrat’s hegemonic control of Sacramento.

Ziegler doesn’t necessarily agree.

“I don’t think Congress is going to do anything,” she said, noting the risk of a severe political backlash. “I’m less sure about [former President] Trump.”

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If elected in November, she said, Trump could unilaterally invoke the Comstock Act, a dusty 1873 anti-vice law that could serve as an effective nationwide abortion ban. While she made no prediction, Ziegler didn’t rule out the prospect. With Trump, you never know.

“I don’t think it’s a crisis,” she said. “That seems overblown to me. But I also think complete complacency … is wrong, too.”

“On the one hand,” she went on, “it’s not going to be popular if he does it. On the other, I don’t know what his incentives are if he can’t run for reelection. Maybe his donors like it. Maybe base voters who buy his merchandise like it.”

A pale sun glinted off San Francisco Bay as tourists plied the waterfront promenade. Politics and the abortion debate seemed far off, for the moment.

Ziegler sees the next several years as a push-pull between conservative judges, anti-abortion lawmakers and the majority of Americans who, by and large, wish to keep abortion legal and accessible.

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“I think it depends on who’s deciding, and I don’t mean in the classic, ‘It’s my body, my choice’ way of who’s deciding,” Ziegler said. “We’ve seen to date that, for the most part, when you ask voters directly, they want abortion to be broadly legal, particularly early in pregnancy and increasingly later in pregnancy as well… But I think there are lots of possibilities where that doesn’t happen.”

With that, she boxed her leftovers and headed home, to further explain and explore America’s abortion fight.

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Celebs shower Biden with campaign cash, but could undercut 'Scranton Joe' image

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Celebs shower Biden with campaign cash, but could undercut 'Scranton Joe' image

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Celebrities and elites at the highest echelons of American society and industry have showered President Biden’s re-election campaign with massive donations, which could undercut the 46th president’s homespun “Scranton Joe” and “Amtrak Joe” image. 

Biden took the stage of Los Angeles’s Peacock Theater earlier this month, when he was flanked by former President Obama and late night host Jimmy Kimmel. The audience, performers and others attending the event in Biden’s support included Hollywood elites such as George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Barbra Streisand, Jack Black, Jason Bateman, Kathryn Hahn and Mindy Kaling, Vanity Fair reported. The star-studded fundraiser was a monetary success for the president’s re-election campaign, shattering previous Democratic fundraising benchmarks with $30 million in donations, the Biden campaign said earlier this month. 

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The swank fundraiser, however, comes at a time when inflation continues throttling the average American household, and the president pitches himself to voters as a man of the people with humble roots in Scranton, Pennsylvania. 

“2024 will be a choice between two very different economic visions for America: Donald Trump, who sees the world from his country club at Mar-a-Lago, and President Biden, who sees the world from kitchen tables in Scranton,” Biden’s campaign website reads. 

BIDEN LOOKS TO CAPITALIZE ON STAR-STUDDED HOLLYWOOD FUNDRAISER AFTER TRUMP’S MASSIVE CASH HAUL IN BLUE STATE

President Biden laughs with former President Obama during a campaign fundraiser at the Peacock Theater in Los Angeles on June 15, 2024. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

TRUMP CATCHES UP TO BIDEN IN CASH DASH, BUT CAN HE SPEND THE MONEY IN TIME?

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Dana White and Donald Trump smile

Former President Trump, UFC president Dana White during the UFC 295 event at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 11, 2023, in New York City. (Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

The 2023-2024 election cycle is anticipated to be the most costly in history, with Forbes reporting political ad spending would top $10 billion across White House and congressional races. 

Following Biden announcing in April of last year that he’d “finish the job” and run for re-election, the Biden-Harris campaign amped up its fundraisers for the anticipated rematch against former President Trump. 

Biden and Jimmy Kimmel

President Biden speaks with host Jimmy Kimmel as he makes his first in-person appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” in Hollywood, California, June 8, 2022. (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

As Hollywood’s writers’ strike raged last year, Biden engaged with Broadway stars to boost campaign funds, with performers such as Sara Bareilles, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ben Platt appearing on behalf of Biden in September for a star-studded fundraiser, the AP reported. 

BIDEN HAS A MASSIVE MAY FUNDRAISING HAUL, BUT COMES UP FAR SHORT OF TRUMP

As 2023 drew to a close, Biden went on a Hollywood-focused fundraiser blitz. Singer James Taylor performed during a Boston fundraiser in December, before the president traveled to Los Angeles, where he held a series of fundraisers, including one joined by filmmaker Steven Spielberg, director and actor Rob Reiner and producer Shonda Rhimes, in addition to California politicos such as Gov. Gavin Newsom and Reps. Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff. Singer Lenny Kravitz performed during the event, which cost $1,000 to $500,000 per ticket, the Los Angeles Daily News reported at the time. 

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BLOOMBERG, CONSERVATIVE BANKING HEIR MELLON, SHELL OUT MILLIONS TO BOOST BIDEN, TRUMP

Vice President Kamala Harris

Vice President Kamala Harris also attended swank fundraisers last year, including one on Martha’s Vineyard. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Vice President Kamala Harris also attended swank fundraisers last year, including one on Martha’s Vineyard with “Suits” actor Wendell Pierce during an event billed as “grassroots” that sold tickets for $50 to $10,000. 

BILL AND HILLARY CLINTON TAP INTO THEIR MONEY MEN FOR BIDEN’S BATTLE AGAINST TRUMP

Hollywood stars and executives were among the first to pad Biden’s campaign coffers ahead of the election cycle kicking off in earnest this year. Former Walt Disney Studios chair Jeffrey Katzenberg, for example, made an $889,600 contribution to Biden last year, as did Lin-Manuel Miranda, when he donated $20,000, Deadline reported last year. Other Hollywood and tech leaders made sizable donations to the Biden Victory Fund, DNC, or other Democratic initiatives in 2023, such as OpenAI CEO Sam Altman donating $200,000, actor and voice actor Seth MacFarlane donating $100,000, and music composer Michael Skloff donating $100,000, the outlet reported. 

The Biden campaign and Democratic National Committee announced earlier this year that they raised $97 million in the last three months of 2023, which PBS reported was “boosted” by Biden’s swank events with Hollywood stars. 

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Presidents Biden, Clinton, and Obama

President Biden and former Presidents Obama and Clinton during a campaign fundraising event at Radio City Music Hall in New York, March 28, 2024. (Reuters/Elizabeth Frantz)

The Biden-Harris campaign continued courting celebrities and other moneyed elites this year, including at New York City’s Radio City in March, which was hosted by actress Mindy Kaling, with late night host Stephen Colbert moderating a conversation with Biden, Obama and former President Bill Clinton. Special guests such as Queen Latifah, Lizzo and Ben Platt were also in attendance, according to media reports. The event pulled in more than $26 million, according to the campaign. 

LATE NIGHT HOSTS AVOIDING CHANCES TO MOCK BIDEN DESPITE ‘HARD-EARNED REPUTATION AS A GAFFE MACHINE’: REPORT

Harris also headlined fundraising events in her native California earlier this year, where she joined a clean energy leader in San Francisco, before another stop at the home of author Robert Mailer Anderson and Oracle heiress Nicola Miner in the city’s Pacific Heights neighborhood. The Pacific Heights fundraiser cost attendees upward of $100,00 per person, and included support from theater director Jonathan Moscone and Mayor London Breed, as well as a performance from singer Carole King, the San Francisco Standard reported at the time. 

Trump, whose real estate background and reality TV success cemented him in Hollywood’s orbit pre-politics, has also held high-profile fundraisers this election cycle, but seldom with movie elites. Instead, he has held swank events at his Mar-a-Lago estate, met with residents of wealthy areas such as Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood, and has attended high-profile public events at Madison Square Garden, but not for fundraising purposes. 

President Biden speaks

President Biden is seen speaking in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Biden previously had a massive fundraising advantage over Trump in the 2024 race for the White House, but recent windfalls following Trump’s conviction in the New York criminal trial have essentially erased Biden’s lead, Fox News Digital reported this weekend. Trump and the RNC notched their second consecutive month in May of outraising Biden and the DNC, all while not yet launching a general election ad buy. Biden’s campaign, conversely, has spent at least $65 million on ad purchases. 

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LATE-NIGHT DNCTV? COLBERT, KIMMEL FUNDRAISE FOR PRESIDENT BIDEN

“The only people in America who support Joe Biden’s failing campaign are elitist Hollywood celebrities,” Trump spokeswoman Karoline Leavitt said in a statement earlier this month. 

Biden’s ritzy fundraisers were also slammed in a Wall Street Journal op-ed last week by Fox News contributor Daniel Henninger, who noted that after decades of the Democratic Party benefiting from Hollywood money, the 2024 election cycle could change the game for the left-wing party as inflation continues spiraling. 

Demonstrators

Demonstrators rally before President Biden’s fundraiser on March 28, 2024, at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. (Alex Kent/Getty Images)

“The Democratic Party’s celebrity dependency has been background noise for decades and not a problem… until now. This presidential election remains closely contested. With the cost of living the No. 1 issue, each swing-state vote deserves attention. In this high-stakes context, the spectacle of the incumbent president jetting from Europe to Hollywood is the kind of look Mr. Biden and his party don’t need. He’s Hollywood Joe,” Henniger wrote. 

“​​But notice that on the day Mr. Biden tapped the Hollywood ATM, Mr. Trump campaigned at a black church in Detroit. It is becoming hard to suppress the reality reported in polls that Mr. Trump, former host of “The Apprentice,” is peeling off layers of the traditional Democratic coalition – blacks, Hispanics, younger Americans and possibly even Jewish voters. The Democratic base once had something resembling a common identity, but not so much anymore. And it’s getting late to fix that,” he continued. 

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Biden’s campaign did face criticism last month when actor Robert DeNiro headlined a campaign event outside the Manhattan courthouse where Trump faced – and was ultimately found guilty – 34 counts of falsifying business records.

Robert De Niro at Biden presser interacts with protester

Actor Robert De Niro points to a supporter of former President Trump following a news conference outside Manhattan Criminal Court in New York, on May 28, 2024. ( Yuki Iwamura/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Donald Trump wants to destroy not only the city, but the country. And eventually he could destroy the world,” De Niro said at the press conference. Biden and Harris were present during the campaign event. 

Following his remarks, De Niro was shouted down by supporters as a “washed-up actor” and “trash,” and was accused of being a “paid actor for the DNC.” 

“You’re a f—ing idiot,” De Niro shouted at one of the pro-Trump protesters. 

The event was subsequently slammed on social media by critics as a “terrible look for Democrats,” and compared to the satirical political comedy show “Veep.” 

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Fox News Digital reached out to the Biden campaign for comment regarding recent star-studded fundraisers and if they could undercut the president’s “Scranton Joe” image while inflation continues spiraling this election cycle. 

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