February 24th, 2009
12:19 PM ET
12 years ago

Clooney presses WH on Darfur

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/24/art.getty.clooney.biden.jpg caption=" The Ocean's Eleven star met with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden Monday night to discuss the humanitarian crisis in Sudan."](CNN) - Hollywood A-lister George Clooney said Monday that the Obama administration is planning to appoint an envoy to Darfur.

The Ocean's Eleven star met with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden Monday night to discuss the humanitarian crisis in Sudan. "I urged them to make the tragedy in Darfur one of their top priorities in foreign policy,” Clooney told reporters outside the White House Monday night. "I've asked them to appoint a high-profile, full-time envoy reporting directly to the president." 

During the campaign, Obama promised to appoint a special envoy to deal with the Darfur issue and to implement the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which ended the decades-long civil war between the North and South.

Clooney said Monday that "before they can send an envoy, they have to have a full foreign policy, but they said that they would appoint a full-time, high-level envoy that would report directly to the White House."

"...This is a difficult situation. It's not going to get much better for a long time," he said, but added that President Obama and Vice President Biden had assured him that the situation was "high on their agenda" and will be handled on the senior-most level. "This is important. It's not about government money, and it's not about government troops. It's about involvement, it's about diplomacy," said Clooney.

Clooney recently returned from a trip to the region where he visited refugee camps and toured Sudanese neighborhoods. "I'm not there as a sort-of policy-nut. I was just there to tell him what I saw and hope that there was some way I can amplify anything that they were doing," he said Monday.

Filed under: Joe Biden • President Obama
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. Stop the presses!

    First McCain and now Clooney.

    February 24, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  2. JK Ashburn, VA

    Ya see, the Obama folks screwed up. Why'd they go an appoint Hillary Clinton as secretary of state when there are so many people more qualified for the job in Hollywood? In fact, if they could find a bunch of actors and actresses who didn't pay their taxes, they could probably staff the whole cabinet with opinionated talking heads from Hollywood.

    February 24, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  3. Karen

    This is the issue that made me leave what I was doing and go vote for Mr. Obama. Who is better suited to do this?

    February 24, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  4. Isabel, VT

    Ahhhhhhhhh...what a dreamboat. Give him anything he wants Mr. President.

    February 24, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  5. Deborah

    I'm sure Clooney was given an audience based on how much he spent to get the BIG O in office.

    Of course BO made sure we the people will go completely broke paying back Hollywood with the OUTRAGES amount of money they will receive from the "Stimulus Package"!

    Wake Up! Say NO to Taxation without Representation!

    February 24, 2009 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  6. Rob

    Biden's question: "Hey, um, George, you think you could get me Brad Pitt's autograph?"

    When pressed for details about the meeting, President Obama replied, "Darf-who? I thought he was talking to us about me taking over Bernie Mac's role in the next 'Oceans' movie."

    February 24, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  7. sick n tired of CNN moderators

    Forget Darfur! We have bigger fish to fry right in our own backyard! Let Darfur worry about Darfur! Its time to stop playing the role of "salvation army"to the world! And time to start focusing our attention on our own issues! Whats helping Darfur going to do for our present situation? NOTHING that's what!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 24, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |

    It is refreshing to know that those who live a very comfortable life still care about human rights of others. Now off topic, I ask why aren't the GOP leaders questioning Jindal birth certificate, is he American born? I don't hear anyone from the Democratic party asking the question, realistically it will be asked I am sure as it should be. Hey we now have another BIG THREE, the 3 governors including Jindal not wanting to accept stimulus money for their constituents.

    February 24, 2009 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  9. HelloooOOOOO

    I sure HOPE I am NOT living close to any of you haters and bitter people !!!

    February 24, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  10. Karen- Tired of the Crap

    I concur Clooney, there has to be something done about Darfur.

    February 24, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  11. kelly WI

    To heck with Darfur. We have enough to pay for without taking on more. If Hollywood wants to pony up their money, let them do it.

    February 24, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  12. southernhrt

    So it was ok with Hollywood for Sadam to do what he did to his own people and we were not supposed to do anything? But we must rescue Darfur. Don't get it.

    February 24, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  13. Karen- Tired of the Crap

    @ Stop the presses! Please do not include George Clooney and McCain in the same breathe. Clooney is putting in the time and his life into trying to save people from destruction, while McCain decides which house to stay in today. Give me a break! Please McCain family owned slaves.. Enough said.

    February 24, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  14. Kathy from Seattle

    You cynics make me sick. You rag about the likes of Hollywood and then pooh pooh any gesture they make to try to make this world a better place. Make up your minds for heaven's sake. You would be singing a different song if the person from Hollywood visiting the president and vice-president were the likes of Charleton Heston or Ronald Reagan. It just depends on what party they support – stop painting everyone with such a broad brush.

    February 24, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  15. Gerry in Va. for Obama.

    Dear Mr Clooney: I understand the rest of the world is in dire straights and need help but we in the United States have put off for so long taking care of us that NOW we are in the same dire straights as the rest of the world.. IF you want to get help for your country of choice then you need to go to some other country and beg from them but please stop begging for America to heal the rest of the world. We can barely take care of our own country right now.. On the other hand YOU make lots of money Mr Clooney, you and the hollywood crowd could surely pitch in a little more. It's time for you worldly beggers to stop and give us a break. Go hold your hand out some place else for awhile.

    February 24, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  16. Virginia

    We are having a hard time taking care of our own, and we are supposed to keep running all over the world taking care of everyone else. I am all for helping those less fortunate, but as a nation who is borrowing money from foreign nations now, how can we keep helping everyone else out?

    February 24, 2009 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  17. For anyone listening...

    So, Mr. Clooney, what is going on over there? I think we can look back and see that the victims are of a different religion than the aggressors. The aggressors get their weapons of destruction from whom? The aggressors are hell bent on exterminating the victim. We needn't send troops or money, just have some actors show up and "get involved."

    Doing what, might I ask? Will the aggressors get scared and stop because Hollywood has now drawn attention to this situation? Will you appeal to their higher consciousness and guilt them into stopping, singing Kumbaya and embracing those they wish to destroy?

    I'll start baking cakes so you can take them over for me.

    February 24, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  18. Clint

    Clooney did not "press" the Whitehouse on Darfur. Clooney "discussed" Darfur with the Whitehouse. News stations should report the news, not invent the news.

    February 24, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  19. Big George

    Get the actors/acresses out of the Whitehouse! Biden is bad enough.

    February 24, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |

    Rupert Murdoch apologizes for controversial NY Post cartoon

    February 24, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  21. Ian

    Why is it okay to take money from all tax payers and give it to one specific group? What is wrong with giving tax payers a choice?

    February 24, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  22. NUTTER!!!

    @Rob February 24th, 2009 1:56 pm ET
    SHUT the H_LL UP!!!

    February 24, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  23. obama-mama

    I love George Clooney. I think he is doing a great thing. We need to make this world a better place. All the people on here saying let Darfur worry about themselves, we have more issue here in the US. It is just a nice thing to help other people including our people. Stop being so selfish.

    February 24, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  24. Mb, N Olsmsted OH


    Keep up the good work. You have using your position for a good cause.

    February 24, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  25. SN

    Leave it to a Hollywood doofus to focus on something that doen't involve us. Hey, George, grab your checkbook and a gun, and go take care of it yourself.

    February 24, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
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