George Clooney played host to two Hillary Clinton fundraisers in California last weekend, which drew criticism from Bernie Sanders supporters who say the actor is flexing his Hollywood might to raise big money for the former Secretary of State.
Clooney pushed back in an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd on Meet the Press.
"The overwhelming amount of the money that we’re raising, is not going to Hillary to run for president," he said. "It’s going to the down-ticket. It’s going to the congressmen and senators to try to take back Congress."
That claim is about half true.
Tickets to the Hillary Victory Fund events hosted by Clooney ranged from $33,400 to $353,000.
Federal law says an individual can only give up to $2,700 to a candidate in a presidential primary. So only $2,700 from each ticket sold went directly to Clinton.
The rest of the money is divvied up among the Democratic National Committee and the state democratic parties, said Daniel Newman, president of Maplight, a nonpartisan group tracking money in politics.
"If you just look at the ticket prices for that George Clooney event, $30,000 and up, then the majority of the money from those tickets didn’t go directly to the Hillary for President committee," he said. "It went to various Democratic parties."
Newman noted, however, that those democratic parties can then spend the money on Clinton if she captures the nomination.
Clooney acknowledged on Meet the Press that the Sanders protesters are right. There is an "obscene" amount of money in politics.
Also worth noting is that exclusive fundraisers aside, most of the donations raised by the Hillary Victory Fund falls in the $2,000 to $3,000 range, which means the majority of the funds raised by that committee so far, have gone straight to Clinton’s campaign.