George Clooney Says Political Fundraisers Raise "an Obscene Amount of Money"
The actor also praised Bernie Sanders and called the North Carolina bathroom anti-LGBT law "ridiculous" in his first 'Meet the Press' interview.
After hosting two fundraisers over the weekend for Hillary Clinton, George Clooney called the thousands of dollars raised "obscene" in a pre-taped interview that aired Sunday morning on NBC News' Meet the Press. With co-chairs donating $353,000 a couple, MSNBC's Chuck Todd asked Clooney how he felt about the large amounts of money being shelled out.
"Yes. I think it's an obscene amount of money," said Clooney on the nature of political fundraisers. "I think that, you know, we had some protesters last night when we pulled up in San Francisco and they're right to protest. They're absolutely right. It is an obscene amount of money. 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."
Clooney was seen talking to some of the protesters in San Francisco.
"I went over to try to talk to them and [one] said I was some corporate shill which, you know, me that's one of the funnier things you could say about me," said Clooney. "And then he just said, you know, 'You sucked as Batman.' And I was like, 'Well, you kind of got me on that one.'"
Clooney, however, said that there is a difference between his fundraisers and that of the Koch brothers (who said they would spend $900 million on the Presidency).
"I think there is a difference between the Koch brothers and us, you know?" said Clooney. "The difference is if I succeed, if we succeed in electing an entire Congress, which would be quite a success, but a Senate and a President, you know, the tax policies that they would enact would probably cost us a lot more money quite honestly. The Koch brothers would profit if they get their way and that's what, you know, there's no profit for us in this."
Although Clooney supports Clinton and worked with her during the crisis in Sudan and South Sudan, he expressed that her campaign hasn't done the best job at explaining that the money he and others are raising is going to the Democratic down ballot and not Clinton's campaign. Clooney also added that he doesn't feel anybody, even politicians, enjoy having the high-profile fundraisers.
"It's going to the congressmen and senators to try to take back Congress," said Clooney. "And the reason that's important, and the reason it's important to me, is because we need — I'm a Democrat, so if you're a Republican, you're going to disagree — but we need to take the Senate back because we need to confirm the Supreme Court justice because that fifth vote on the Supreme Court can overturn Citizens United and get this obscene, ridiculous amount of money out, so I never have to do a fundraiser again. And that's why I'm doing it."
The actor admitted that as a Democrat, he likes Bernie Sanders as well and will support him if he wins the nomination.
"I think what he's saying in this election is important if you're a Democrat," said Clooney. "Again, to have these conversations, I hope he stays in for the entire election and if he were to win the nomination, I will do whatever I can — including, if asked, a fundraiser like this again to try to give him or her, Hillary ... I hope she wins a Senate because honestly we see what happens when a President tries to get their Supreme Court justice confirmed without the Senate."
On the Republican side, Clooney expressed that Trump (whom he said he met once) and Cruz are making the election a "campaign of fear."
When asked about the controversial North Carolina anti-LGBT "bathroom law," Clooney called the bill "ridiculous."
Watch Clooney’s full interview on Meet the Press below.