On Sunday morning — hours after hosting a $33,400-per-person fundraiser for Hillary Clinton — Hollywood star George Clooney blasted political fundraisers as “obscene” in an interview with Chuck Todd of NBC News’ Meet the Press.
“Yes. I think it’s an obscene amount of money,” Clooney told Todd. “… The Sanders campaign, when they talk about it is absolutely right. It’s ridiculous that we should have this kind of money in politics. I agree completely.”
The interview was taped Saturday. Clooney had just hosted one fundraiser for Clinton in San Francisco on Friday evening, and was about to host another on Saturday evening with his wife, Amal, in their home in Studio City, Los Angeles.
Clinton is running a tough race in New York against rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and has lost several primaries in a row, but took time out from the campaign trail for fundraising across California — which earned its name as the “Golden State.”
In addition to the Clooney fundraiser, Clinton attended an afternoon fundraiser hosted by Hollywood mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg. According to Variety:
About 150 people attended the events, with tickets priced at $33,400 per person. Co-hosts contributed $50,000, and event co-chairs contributed $353,000. Money went to the Hillary Victory Fund, a joint committee for the Clinton campaign, the Democratic National Committee [DNC] and state party committees.
Deadline estimates that the Clooney fundraisers netted a total of $15 million for Clinton and the DNC.
The theme of the events was “building on the progress we made under President Obama,” Variety reported a Clinton aide as saying. Obama himself once campaigned against the campaign finance system — but happily broke his pledge to accept public financing in 2008, and never looked back.
Clinton also attended a more modest $2,700-per-person fundraiser — the maximum allowable individual contribution directly to a campaign — in Koreatown, Los Angeles early Saturday, Variety notes.
Supporters of Bernie Sanders protested outside the Friday night fundraiser, which was the context for Todd’s question to Clooney.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new e-book, Leadership Secrets of the Kings and Prophets: What the Bible’s Struggles Teach Us About Today, is on sale through Amazon Kindle Direct. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.