President Obama’s L.A. Trip Included Private Dinner with Jeffrey Katzenberg

Jeffrey Katzenberg
Joe Scarnici/WireImage

After President Obama appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” he took a short hop via helicopter from Burbank to Van Nuys airports, then to Woodland Hills, where he stayed overnight at the Hilton. Although it was not on the official schedule, Obama dined alone at the hotel with Jeffrey Katzenberg, the CEO of Dreamworks Animation and among the most prolific of all Democratic donors.

White House spokesman Jay Carney told a pool reporter of the dinner on Wednesday morning, as Obama was doing an interview with the website Zillow. Carney said that the two dined in Obama’s hotel room, and that the president picked up the tab. Carney said that Katzenberg was a “longtime friend.”

Obama visited Katzenberg’s home in Beverly Hills in October, for a meeting to thank Hollywood donors in the waning weeks of the election. Katzenberg was among Obama’s top donors in the most recent election cycle, and he helped lead efforts to draw big name contributors to an Obama supporting SuperPAC, Priorities USA. In a recent profile, Mother Jones called him “The next George Soros,” a reference to the longtime party benefactor.