Trump attends funeral for slain NYPD officer while Biden prepares to hobnob with celebrities at major NYC fundraiser

News & Politics

The presumptive nominees for president from the Republican and Democratic Parties will both be in the New York City area on Thursday — but for entirely different reasons.

Former President Donald Trump, who has already clinched enough delegates to become the Republican nominee for the third straight time, arrived in New York City to attend a funeral for Jonathan Diller, a 31-year-old NYPD officer who was shot and killed in the line of duty on Monday. According to a Trump spokesperson, the former president was invited to attend.

“President Trump is moved by the invitation to join NYPD Officer Jonathan Diller’s family and colleagues as they deal with his senseless and tragic death,” Karoline Leavitt said in a statement released Wednesday.

Outside the funeral home, Trump made a few brief remarks about Diller and his family. “I just visited with a very beautiful wife who now doesn’t have her husband,” Trump said. He called Diller’s widow, Stephanie, “incredible” and his 1-year-old son “beautiful” and “innocent as can be.” “He doesn’t know how his life has been changed,” Trump added.

Trump also reaffirmed his support for law enforcement. “The police are the greatest people we have. There’s nobody like them,” Trump stated. “… We have to get back to law and order. We have to do a lot of things differently.”

Diller’s wake was held at Massapequa Funeral Home. A funeral mass will be held for him at St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church on Saturday, and at least one union boss affiliated with the NYPD has already warned New York City Council members not to attend.

“The Council members who are vehemently and inexplicably against public safety are responsible for the carnage in the streets,” wrote Vincent J. Vallelong, the president of the NYC Sergeants Benevolent Association.

Vallelong added that all too often, NYC leaders see such funerals as a “good photo opportunity.” However, the presence of anti-cop members of the city council at Diller’s funeral would be “a stain on the legacy of a true hero who made the ultimate sacrifice,” he said.

Meanwhile, on the same day Trump was attending Diller’s wake in Massapequa, just east of NYC, President Joe Biden is scheduled to host a major fundraiser at Radio City Music Hall in Midtown Manhattan. The event is expected to draw some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry and the Democratic Party, including former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton as well as late-night talk show host Stephen Colbert, Queen Latifah, Lizzo, Ben Platt, Cynthia Erivo, Lea Michele, and actress Mindy Kaling.

Though tickets for the event start as low as $225, costs skyrocket to $100,000 or more to snap exclusive photos or attend more exclusive receptions. According to the AP, the fundraiser has already broken records, bringing in a staggering $25 million. “This historic raise is a show of strong enthusiasm for President Biden and Vice President Harris and a testament to the unprecedented fundraising machine we’ve built,” said campaign co-chair Jeffrey Katzenberg.

Steven Cheung, a Trump campaign spokesperson, took a decidedly different view. “Crooked Joe is so mentally deficient that he needs to trot out some retreads like Clinton and Obama,” he quipped.

The contrast between the two events and the campaign priorities they represent is so stark that even CNN took note. National correspondent Kristen Holmes explained that Trump “does appeal to working-class voters” because of his willingness to show up at important moments, making his Democrat opponents look “elitist and out of touch.”

Host Kate Bolduan agreed, claiming that such comparisons have been “successful” for Trump “in the past.”

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