As Trump arrested, Biden talks to Zelenskiy, appeals for campaign donations

By Steve Holland

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (Reuters) – As former President Donald Trump was arrested in Atlanta, U.S. President Joe Biden said he had spoken with Ukraine’s president on Friday and issued a fresh appeal for contributions to his 2024 re-election campaign “apropos of nothing.”

Biden was silent all day on Friday while on vacation at a home overlooking Lake Tahoe, but at almost the exact time Trump’s plane landed in Atlanta, the White House announced the phone call with Volodymyr Zelenskiy.

“May today be a reminder that the forces of darkness and dominion will never extinguish the flame of liberty that lives in the heart of free people everywhere,” Biden wrote from his official presidential account on the social media platform X, former known as Twitter, after announcing the call.

Biden made no mention of Trump’s legal woes, sticking with a policy of avoiding commenting on the troubles facing the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024.

Biden, however, sent out an appeal on X for donations to his re-election campaign at about the same time as Trump was on his way to be arrested at the Fulton County Jail.

“Apropos of nothing, I think today’s a great day to give to my campaign,” Biden wrote.

When Trump was indicted in a separate case in Washington on Aug. 1, Biden was at his vacation home in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, dining out and watching a popular movie.

In the call with Zelenskiy, the pair discussed the start of training for Ukraine pilots to fly U.S.-produced F-16 fighter jets, as well as expedited approval for other nations to transfer their F-16 jets to Ukraine, the White House said.

(Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Daniel Wallis)