'F—king Pass the Torch': Clinton-tied Climate Activist Group Goes Scorched Earth Attacking Joe Biden

Climate Defiance planning 'historic action' targeting Biden campaign HQ in Delaware

(Win McNamee/Getty Images)
July 9, 2024

In the weeks since President Joe Biden's disastrous debate performance reignited questions about his fitness to serve, Climate Defiance has emerged as one of the loudest voices on the left calling for the president to step aside.

"F—king pass the torch already. What is the game plan here? Stay til election day so that Trump can win? Go down in history books as a dithering old man whose lust for power snuffed out democracy and incinerated earth? Tell us! Tell us!" the group wrote in an X post on Monday evening.

Climate Defiance, which has made headlines for disrupting high-profile events to protest federal officials and politicians in attendance, has received much of its funding via a shadowy pass-through group named the Climate Emergency Fund (CEF), according to Influence Watch. CEF has, in turn, received thousands of dollars from well-known Hollywood elites, left-wing millionaires, and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton's progressive political action organization Onward Together.

While it is unclear whether Onward Together's financial support for CEF has directly benefited Climate Defiance—the use of a pass-through shields from public view where the funds were specifically directed—it underscores how closely intertwined Clinton's group is with activists calling for Democrats to replace Biden at the top of the ticket. Onward Together, CEF, and Climate Defiance did not respond to requests for comment.

In 2021, Onward Together reported wiring $300,000 to CEF, by far its largest grant of the year, federal tax filings reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon show. Then, during the 12-month period ending in March 2023, the same month Climate Defiance was founded, it reported giving another $200,000 to CEF. That second grant represented more than 43 percent of Onward Together's total contributions to outside groups. Both grants were earmarked for "climate advocacy."

Onward Together stated that, broadly, its donations were made to encourage people to organize, get involved, and run for office "in order to advance progressive values and work to build a brighter future for generations to come."

Overall, with the help of Clinton's nonprofit operation and other left-wing interest groups, CEF raised $6.1 million in 2022, a 165 percent increase compared to the $2.3 million it raised in 2021. According to the group, it received more than 50 individual anonymous contributions worth thousands of dollars each. More than 10 were worth more than $100,000, with the largest contribution exceeding $1.2 million and two more exceeding $500,000 each.

"Climate Emergency Fund supports a variety of domestic activism, particularly focused on raising awareness about the emergency, ending the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure, and securing climate legislation," CEF states on its own tax filing, also reviewed by the Free Beacon.

Shortly after the presidential debate last month, CEF beneficiary Climate Defiance became one of the first progressive groups to formally call on Biden to withdraw from the race. Since then, the Washington, D.C.-based group has likened Biden's reelection bid to both the Titanic and a car that is "about to explode."

On Tuesday, the group announced that it would "converge" on Wilmington, Delaware, to stage a "historic action" at Biden's presidential campaign headquarters.

"We will not leave. To beat Trump we must replace Biden. Period. Full stop," the group stated.

In addition to Onward Together, Abigail Disney, the heiress of the Disney fortune and a leading Democratic Party donor, has also given thousands of dollars to CEF. In its annual report published late last year, CEF thanked Disney for her support and included a quote from her lauding CEF grantees for inspiring "hope in their relentless belief that we can stand together and change the world."

Disney, like Climate Defiance, has called on Biden to step aside in recent days. She said she would withhold all future donations to the Democratic Party until the president drops out of the race, CNBC reported.