The Latest: Biden, facing pressure over age, meets with labor groups; Trump revels in Biden turmoil

The Latest: Biden, facing pressure over age, meets with labor groups; Trump revels in Biden turmoil

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden, facing pressure from within his own party to abandon his reelection campaign, is set to meet Wednesday with the executive council of the AFL-CIO, America’s largest federation of trade unions as he tries to make the case that his record in office matters more than his age. The 81-year-old Biden is also taking part in the NATO summit and looking to use the organization’s 75th anniversary meeting as a way to spotlight support for Ukraine in its fight against Russia and to reset his stumbling campaign.

Biden has been under intense scrutiny since his disastrous debate performance, putting pressure on a White House that until recently had been marked by discipline and loyalty.

Former President Donald Trump has been reveling in the turmoil surrounding the Biden campaign and pressure from Biden’s party to step down. Trump is also expected to soon announce his Republican running mate.

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The Latest:

The president of Finland says that regardless of whether Biden or Trump win the presidency in November, the U.S. will remain a superpower. That will require it to have strong allies — especially in Europe.

Alexander Stubb said he is worried about the “polarization of the political climate,” calling it “quite toxic.”

Stubb spoke to reporters as he arrived at the NATO summit Wednesday.

Stubb also said there is “strong bipartisan support” for Ukraine and NATO, following a meeting with 15 U.S. senators.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken says Ukraine is on an “irreversible” path to NATO membership.

That advances American assurances that Ukraine will be allowed to join the Western self-defense alliance after its war against Russia ends.

All 32 allies are expected to issue a joint communique Wednesday cementing that “irreversible” commitment to Ukraine. That’s according to a European official who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss before the release.

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has battled for a firm guarantee Ukraine can join. The U.S. and some others have opposed to avoid an escalation with Russia that could lead to a larger war.

— Associated Press reporter Ellen Knickmeyer contributed to this story.


Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass released a one-sentence statement after the president held a virtual event with nearly 200 Democratic mayors.

“I’m supporting our nominee, President Biden,” she said.

Bass is a former member of Congress who was on Biden’s vice-presidential shortlist during his 2020 campaign.

U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla of California has also backed the president, sending a fundraising appeal on behalf of Biden’s campaign.

“The stakes of this election are simply too high to continue fretting and worrying,” he wrote.

Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi stopped short of saying President Joe Biden should continue his re-election campaign, saying “it’s up to the president to decide” if he’s going to run.

“We’re all encouraging him to make that decision, because time is running short,” Pelosi said early Wednesday on MSNBC.

Pressed on whether she personally wants Biden to stay on the top of the ticket, Pelosi said, “I want him to do whatever he decides to do.”

She said she watched as he delivered a forceful speech at NATO, and while foreign leaders are in Washington she encouraged Democrats to “hold off” with any announcements about his campaign.

Pelosi has been widely watched for signals of how top Democrats are thinking about Biden’s candidacy.

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