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Obamas and their 'good friend' Clooney

US President Barack Obama says actor George Clooney is a good friend and a good person who is sensitive about protecting that friendship.

In an interview the US president discussed his friendship with George Clooney, calling the actor a “wonderful guy.” “The truth is we got to know each other because of a substantive issue,” Obama said.

Best Friends forever: US President Barack Obama described George Clooney as a good man and a good friend who never took advantage of their friendship. File Pics

“He is a terrific advocate on behalf of the people of Darfur, and to the people of Sudan who’ve been brutalised for a long time. And so when I was a senator — this was well before I was president — that was an issue that I was working on a bipartisan basis, and George, who had travelled there, done documentaries there, and was very well-informed, came to testify in Congress. And so we got to know each other, and he is a good man, and a good friend.”

Star power
While the US president praised the actor’s humanitarian efforts, he also noted the effect Clooney’s star power has on members of his White House staff.

“I will say that the couple of times he’s come to the White House, I notice that the staff suddenly is circling around my office,” he said. “They’ve got memos they need to make sure I see right away.”

He also said that Clooney doesn’t take advantage of their friendship and keeps his distance so that the president won’t be criticised for hanging out with Hollywood celebrities.

‘Too cute’
The US First Lady Michelle Obama also weighed in on her husband’s celebrity pal, joking that she thinks it’s a “conspiracy” that she’s never around when Clooney comes to town.

“Michelle is always frustrated because during a lot of the events that George has been involved in, for some reason, she has something else going on,” the president added. The First Lady also chimed in that she found the actor “too cute.”

Soft corner
Clooney has been one of Obama’s most prominent fundraisers throughout the 2012 election cycle. 

In May, he hosted an event at his Los Angeles home that raked in $15 million (Rs 83 crore) for the president’s reelection campaign.

The star is also slated to headline an Obama fundraiser in Geneva, Switzerland later this month. Tickets for the event start at $1,000 (Rs 55,745) a person. 

Rs 83 cr Amount raised by George Clooney at a fundraiser for US President Barack Obama

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