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George Clooney on Fundraisers: The Money in Politics Is 'Ridiculous'

Clooney may be helping Clinton raise millions for her campaign and for her party this weekend — but he agrees with her rival, Sanders, on one point.
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George Clooney may be helping Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton raise millions for her campaign and for her party this weekend — but he agrees with her rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, on one point.

Sanders has criticized such fundraisers as “obscene.” When asked by "Meet the Press" moderator Chuck Todd to respond to Sanders’ criticism of the fundraisers he is holding for Clinton, the actor and activist responded, “Yes. I think it's 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.”

On Friday night, Clooney co-chaired an event in San Francisco to raise money for the Hilary Victory Fund. To get a seat at a roundtable with George Clooney, his wife Amal and Hillary Clinton, as well as a prime spot at the dinner, a couple would’ve had to pay or raise $353,400.

Not all of the money goes to the Clinton campaign coffers. A donation to the “Victory Fund” is split between Clinton’s primary campaign, her possible general campaign, the Democratic National Committee and various Democratic state parties.

When the event was announced last month, both the Sanders campaign and the Republican party pounced on it. Sanders told CNN, “It is obscene that Secretary Clinton keeps going to big money people to fund her campaign. But it's not only this Clooney event ... It's a criticism of a corrupt finance system where big money interests — and it's not Clooney, it's the people who are coming to this event — have undue influence over the political process.”

Clinton’s Friday night fundraiser at the home of venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar was protested by a small but vocal group of Sanders’ supporters. Clooney, engaged briefly with the protesters and later told NBC News, “They’re right to protest. They’re absolutely right. It’s an obscene amount of money.”

George Clooney’s full “Meet the Press” interview will air Sunday morning.