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George Clooney on Fundraisers: ‘Ridiculous’ to Have ‘Obscene Amount of Money’ in Politics

George Clooney to Appear on 'Meet
AP Photo/Axel Schmidt

George Clooney will be a guest on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, the day after he and wife Amal host a fundraiser at their Los Angeles home for Hillary Clinton.

In an excerpt from the interview released in advance, Clooney tells host Chuck Todd that the Sanders campaign is justified in its criticism of political fundraisers, which cost “an obscene amount of money.”

“I think it’s an obscene amount of money,” he said. “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.”

The guest list for the Clooneys’ event on Saturday evening includes Melanie Griffith, Jane Fonda and Ellen DeGeneres, according to a source familiar with the plans. Co-hosts to the event, with tickets priced at $33,400 per person, include Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw, Jeffrey and Marilyn Katzenberg, and Haim and Cheryl Saban.

On Friday, the Clooneys also co-hosted an event in San Francisco at the Nob Hill home of venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar. According to CNN, about 100 supporters of Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s rival for the Democratic nomination, protested down the street from Pishevar’s home, chanting “Release the transcripts” — a reference to calls for Clinton to release transcripts of her paid speeches to Wall Street firms.

According to a Clinton campaign aide, about 70 people attended the San Francisco event, with tickets priced at $33,400 per person. Co-chairs contributed $100,000 per couple, and chairs raised and/or contributed $353,400 per couple. The contributions for both events go to the Hillary Victory Fund, which is raising money for the Clinton campaign, the Democratic National Committee and state party committees.

Meanwhile, a group of Sanders supporters are planning a counter event at a nearby home. They are holding a $27-per-person fundraiser at the home of Howard Gold, from the family of the founder of the 99 Cents store chain. Co-hosts include Matthew Cooke, Andrew Keegan, Cary Harrison and Chris Kantrowitz.