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    Robert De Niro Narrates an Anti-Trump Ad for Biden

    President Biden’s campaign released a new ad on Friday narrated by the actor Robert De Niro that seeks to remind voters of the chaos of Donald J. Trump’s presidency and warn them that a second Trump term would be even worse.The spot is part of the Biden’s campaign $14 million May advertising effort and will air on television and digital platforms in battleground states, as well as on national cable channels.Mr. De Niro openly opposed Mr. Trump’s presidency, calling him “baby-in-chief” at the National Board of Review awards gala in 2018 and using profanity to condemn him during the Tony Awards that year.What the ad saysIt opens with Mr. De Niro’s distinctive voice playing over images of Mr. Trump during the coronavirus pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020.“From midnight tweets, to drinking bleach, to tear-gassing citizens and staging a photo op, we knew Trump was out of control when he was president,” Mr. De Niro says. “Then he lost the 2020 election — and snapped.” (The bleach reference was a nod to Mr. Trump’s suggestion that an “injection inside” the body with a disinfectant could help treat the coronavirus.)We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Obama Is a Surprise Guest Among Allies at Biden’s State Dinner for Kenya

    The state dinner was held in honor of the African nation, but it was clear that the night was about keeping Democratic allies close as President Biden heads into the heat of the 2024 campaign season.Yes, Barack Obama was there.State dinners are best known as bear hugs for overseas allies, and Thursday’s honoree was Kenya. But the sixth state dinner of President Biden’s term was designed to clutch domestic allies — not the least of them Mr. Obama, whose father was Kenyan — even tighter as the president makes the long slog toward November.The 500-person event, held on the South Lawn of the White House on a humid May evening, was attended by dozens of influential Kenyans, of course. The list included President William Ruto of Kenya and his wife, Rachel, along with three of his daughters. It also included some of the country’s wealthiest figures, like James Mwangi, the chief executive of the global banking conglomerate Equity Group Holdings Limited.“We share a strong respect for the history that connects us together,” Mr. Biden said to his guests during a toast. He quoted from a speech given by President Jimmy Carter, who honored Kenya with a state dinner in 1980: “Neighbors do not share a border but share beliefs.”But the evening, along with the guest list, was just as notable for what it said about Mr. Biden’s current political obstacles. Aside from Mr. Obama — the former president was not on the initial guest list published by the White House, and he departed before Mr. Biden’s speech — the list name-checked the people Mr. Biden will want to bring closer into the fold in the months ahead. The lineup included elected officials in several battleground states, influential Black political operatives, and powerful philanthropists, like Melinda French Gates.Choosing their guests, the president and Jill Biden, the first lady, mixed supporters of the president’s re-election effort with several Biden family members — granddaughters and Mr. Biden’s son Hunter, who is scheduled to stand trial on gun charges next month. (Hunter Biden’s wife, Melissa Cohen Biden, walked the red carpet alone.) There were few Hollywood types, though one notable attendee was the actor Sean Penn. Mr. Penn was photographed by the gossip website TMZ as he spent time with Hunter Biden, who has been working on a documentary about his life, in California earlier this month.Hunter Biden and the actor Sean Penn listened to President William Ruto of Kenya as he spoke at the dinner.Haiyun Jiang for The New York TimesWe are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Ohio Elections Official Threatens to Exclude Biden From the Ballot

    The Ohio General Assembly adjourned on Wednesday without addressing an issue that the state’s top elections official said would prevent President Biden from being placed on the ballot there, escalating a partisan clash that could result in the president not being on the ballot in all 50 states in November.Frank LaRose, the Republican secretary of state, has said that he plans to exclude Mr. Biden from the ballot because he will be officially nominated after a deadline for certifying presidential nominees on the ballot. This is usually a minor procedural issue, and states have almost always offered a quick solution to ensure that major presidential candidates remain on the ballot.The Biden campaign is considering suing the state in order to ensure Mr. Biden is on the ballot, while also searching for some other way to resolve the issue without moving the date of the nominating convention, according to a person with knowledge of the deliberations.A legal fight could be expensive and arduous. The Supreme Court recently ruled that states could not bar Mr. Trump from running for another term under a constitutional provision, Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, that prohibits insurrectionists from holding office. But it took six months of legal wrangling before the court put that issue to bed.Ohio is not considered a swing state — Mr. Trump won there with an eight-point edge in 2020 — but the Biden campaign could be drawn into a monthslong legal battle to ensure that the president is on the ballot in all 50 states.A legislative fix, which would have pushed back the certification deadline to accommodate the late date of the Democratic National Convention, stalled out this month as Republicans in the Ohio Senate tacked on a partisan measure that would ban foreign donations to state ballot initiatives. Mr. LaRose has previously said that passing the ban is the price that Democrats must pay to ensure that Mr. Biden is on the ballot, and that he would otherwise enforce the law as written.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Former Trump Official Meets With Arab and Muslim American Leaders

    As President Biden’s support among Arab and Muslim Americans withers over his backing of Israel in the war in Gaza, former President Donald J. Trump is making a long-shot push to take advantage.On Tuesday, Richard Grenell, a former high-ranking official in the Trump administration, met for more than two hours with a group of about 40 Arab and Muslim American leaders at an Italian restaurant outside Detroit. Mr. Grenell was joined by the former president’s son-in-law Michael Boulos, who is married to Tiffany Trump and is Lebanese American, though the Trump campaign said it had not organized the meeting.Many Arab and Muslim American voters have said they are so angry with Mr. Biden over his Israel policy that they will sit out the election, despite supporting him in large numbers in 2020. But Mr. Grenell told the group that it had the chance to exercise extraordinary political power by backing Mr. Trump instead, according to six people who attended the meeting.Mr. Grenell argued that if Muslim and Arab Americans publicly swung their support to the former president — and helped him win Michigan, a key battleground state — they would demonstrate to both Republicans and Democrats that they could not be ignored.“The door is open to start to explore,” said Yahya Basha, a Syrian American radiologist from Royal Oak, Mich., who helped organize the meeting. “Let’s go approach and see what Trump has to offer.”Dr. Basha and others present described the meeting as light on policy details and said they needed to hear more before committing to support Mr. Trump. Several others who attended were already Trump supporters, but some had cast their ballots for Mr. Biden in 2020.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Doug Emhoff Calls Trump a ‘Known Antisemite’ as Biden Team Steps Up Attacks

    Doug Emhoff, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris, called former President Donald J. Trump “a known antisemite” in a video released on Tuesday, a notable escalation of attacks by President Biden’s campaign against Mr. Trump over his language about Jews.Mr. Emhoff’s remarks came in an afternoon social media post by the Biden campaign with the anodyne title “Second Gentleman @DouglasEmhoff responds to Trump attacking Jewish Americans.”“The last person I’m going to take advice from as a Jewish person is a known antisemite who’s had dinner with antisemites, who said there was ‘good people on both sides’ after Charlottesville,” Mr. Emhoff says in the video, after he apparently watches a weeks-old video of Mr. Trump proclaiming that Jews who vote for Mr. Biden “have to have their head examined.”Mr. Emhoff adds for emphasis, “He’s the last person I’m going to take advice from.”The Biden campaign has been seeking to extend a news cycle that began this week when Mr. Trump posted, then later took down, a video on social media that included old-time newspaper headlines saying a victory by him in November would bring about a “unified Reich.” Mr. Biden, in a video released by his campaign, accused Mr. Trump of using “Hitler’s language.”The Biden campaign and its surrogates have previously condemned Mr. Trump for using antisemitic language. Two weeks ago, a Biden campaign spokesman, Charles Lutvak, blasted Mr. Trump for employing “patronizing antisemitic shtick” after the former president said Jews who voted for Mr. Biden “should be ashamed of themselves.”Mr. Trump has long flirted with antisemitic language and imagery, and shown support for far-right backers who are openly antisemitic.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Seven Theories for Why Biden Is Losing (and What He Should Do About It)

    It’s not Joe Biden’s poll numbers that worry me, exactly. It’s the denial of what’s behind them.Among likely voters, Biden is trailing Donald Trump by one point in Wisconsin and three points in Pennsylvania. He’s ahead by a point in Michigan. Sweeping those three states is one route to re-election, and they’re within reach.Still, Biden is losing to Trump. His path is narrowing. In 2020, Biden didn’t just win Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. He also won Arizona, Georgia and Nevada. Now he’s behind in those states by six points, nine points and 13 points in the latest Times/Siena/Philadelphia Inquirer poll. Have those states turned red? No. That same poll finds Democrats leading in the Arizona and Nevada Senate races. The Democrats are also leading in the Senate races in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.National polls find Democrats slightly ahead of Republicans for control of congress. The “Never Biden” vote now looks larger than the “Never Trump” vote. The electorate hasn’t turned on Democrats; a crucial group of voters has turned on Biden.This week, the Biden team appeared to shake up the race by challenging Trump to two debates. One will take place early, on June 27. The other will be in September. Biden’s video was full of bluster. “Donald Trump lost two debates to me in 2020,” he said. “Since then, he hasn’t shown up for a debate. Now he’s acting like he wants to debate me again. Well, make my day, pal. I’ll even do it twice.”Biden, it seemed, was calling Trump’s bluff. He wanted the fight. But Biden wants fewer debates, not more. On the same day, he pulled out of the three debates scheduled by the Commission on Presidential Debates for September and October. He rebuffed the Trump campaign’s call for four debates. “I’ll even do it twice” is misdirection. He’ll only do it twice.This is bad precedent and questionable politics. Debates do more to focus and inform the public than anything else during the campaign. Biden is cutting the number of debates by a third and he’s making it easier for future candidates to abandon debates altogether.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    In Atlanta, Biden Warms Up His Pitch to Black Voters

    President Biden declared on Saturday that his challenger, former President Donald J. Trump, represented an “unhinged” threat to the future of the country and asked Black voters at two campaign events in Atlanta to see the election as a choice between protecting democracy and letting it backslide.This message was a preview of sorts for a speech he was scheduled to deliver on Sunday at Morehouse College, an all-male, historically Black institution whose students, alumni and faculty had been divided over inviting Mr. Biden as the war in Gaza continues.Mr. Biden laid out his argument to a powerful slice of the electorate that has been drifting away from him during a campaign reception on Saturday afternoon: “We cannot let this man become president. We have to win this race, not for me but for America.”For months, the president has tried to define Mr. Trump as an unstable force whose second term would be about exacting revenge on his enemies. But despite trying to present himself as a guardian of the international order and politics as usual, Mr. Biden has low approval ratings and is trailing Mr. Trump in several battleground states including Georgia, according to recent polls.The strategy in Georgia this weekend seemed to be to take his own political brand out of the equation, asking key voters to instead consider what could happen if Mr. Trump wins.“He’s clearly unhinged,” Mr. Biden said while talking about a recent interview granted by the former president. “Buy Time magazine this week. Take a look at what he has said. He said, ‘A lot of people liked it when I said I would be a dictator on Day 1.’”Earlier in the day, Mr. Biden also took a swipe at the recent polling. “You hear about how, you know, we’re behind in the polls,” he said. “So far the polls haven’t been right once. We’re either tied or slightly ahead or slightly behind, but what I look at is actual election results and election results are in the primaries.”He added that Nikki Haley, who is no longer in the race, peeled away votes from Trump in several primary elections.“It’s not about me,” Mr. Biden told a group of supporters, including several Morehouse graduates, gathered at a popular restaurant in Atlanta. “It’s about the alternative as well.” More

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    Stefanik to Denounce Biden, and Praise Trump, in Speech to Israel’s Parliament

    Representative Elise Stefanik of New York will be the highest-ranking House Republican to address the Israeli Parliament since the Oct. 7 terrorist attack with a speech on Sunday that is expected to deliver a forceful rebuke of President Biden and his fellow Democrats while presenting her party as the true allies of the Jewish state.Ms. Stefanik’s speech comes as the Biden White House is urging Israel to end the war in Gaza, and it builds on the Republican political strategy to capitalize on Democratic divisions over Israel’s response to the terrorist attacks.That strategy, which has played out in Congress for the past six months, has included a largely symbolic House vote on Thursday aimed at rebuking Mr. Biden for pausing an arms shipment to Israel and compelling his administration to deliver those weapons quickly.Mr. Biden recently put a hold on military aid out of concern that Israel would use the weapons on Rafah, a crowded city in southern Gaza. The administration has also told Congress that it plans to sell more than $1 billion in new weapons to Israel.“I have been clear at home, and I will be clear here,” Ms. Stefanik is expected to say in her speech, according to a prepared version of her remarks reviewed by The New York Times. “There is no excuse for an American president to block aid to Israel.”Her remarks also appear designed to curry favor with former President Donald J. Trump, who has mentioned Ms. Stefanik, a former George W. Bush White House aide and staunch defender of Mr. Trump, as a potential vice-presidential candidate.While a time-honored adage of American politics has held that partisanship ends at the water’s edge, Ms. Stefanik’s remarks may help strengthen her bona fides with the former president by paying little mind to the principle and decorum behind that unwritten rule.Ms. Stefanik has positioned herself as one of Mr. Trump’s most loyal defenders in Congress, a role she first staked out during his first impeachment in 2019. Her prepared remarks for Sunday mention Mr. Trump by name three times while highlighting several of his administration’s accomplishments, including a package of Middle East deals known as the Abraham Accords and moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.“We must not let the extremism in elite corners conceal the deep, abiding love for Israel among the American people,” Ms. Stefanik plans to say. “Americans feel a strong connection to your people. They have opened their hearts to you in this dark hour.”In addition to her remarks at Jerusalem Hall in the Knesset, Ms. Stefanik will meet with Israeli officials, visit religious sites and tour locations targeted in the Oct. 7 attacks.Ms. Stefanik has played a high-profile role in the congressional investigations into antisemitism on college campuses. Her questioning of the Harvard and University of Pennsylvania presidents ultimately lead to their resignations, delivering to Ms. Stefanik her biggest star turn this Congress. More