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. Pat F

    I would LOVE to have seen the comments on this blog if Bush or Cheney had met with any Hollywood airbags like Clooney.

    Stick to acting and looking cute, Clooney, and leave world events to the grown-ups.

    Also, any word on compensation caps of $500,000 for Hollywood stars and sports figures, who contribute nothing to the world and have no responsibilities?

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

    sigh....georgey! i'd do anything to be next to you!!!

    February 24, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  3. Vegas

    Helping Iraqis under Saddam Hussein...not okay. (Republican idea)

    Helping Darfur under Bashir...okay. (Democratic idea)

    Who decides how to pick and choose those around the world who need our help? Isn't it the job if the UN to do this? How long has Darfur been going on? Why haven't they done anything to stop Bashir?
    Maybe because using UN peacekeepers to do anyting is futile if there isn't pece to start with.

    February 24, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  4. matt

    Haha, good job Clooney. I'm sure a ruthless regime in Darfur is going to see you and Angelina Jolie show up and say, "oh, wait, the USA must be serious now, we should stop all this non sense".

    February 24, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  5. Rose


    February 24, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  6. Oregon Calling

    I think that George C. should be the point person, I would be happy to assist on that trip!!! 😉

    February 24, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  7. Proud Soldeirs Mom

    Mr Clooney thinks the rest of America lives like he and the others in Hollywood live. He seems to not know that our country is in debt. But how could he know the truth. I'm sure he watches CNN.

    February 24, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  8. Rob

    To – NUTTER!!! February 24th, 2009 2:29 pm ET – Why, were you trying for the spot in the next Oceans movie, or do you have Brad's autograph for Capt. Skippy. Maybe Geaorge brought his stethescope from when he was in ER, give Biden something shiny to play with.

    February 24, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  9. johnny the boy


    What a funny term for people who do not agree the liberal point of view. I guess having a difference of opinion is hater thing.

    February 24, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  10. jcow

    Why didn't George bring a real expert on the situation? Someone from an NGO who has worked in the region. While I'll give you Clooney maybe great to look at we need real people with real answers giving advice to our President not actors.

    February 24, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  11. Y

    We don't have the money to help Darfur. Clooney needs to ask his overpaid Hollywood pals or China to fund his plans. We are currently begging China to lend us more money to fund the so-called stimulus package. It's so unfair to burden our country and our children with this massive spending package we don't have the money to pay for. The American taxpayers are trying to keep food on their own tables, Darfur is at the bottom of the list of concerns for the vast majority of Americans. The President and VP should not be wasting their valuable time chatting with actors in the White House.

    February 24, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  12. Y

    Earth to Clooney, we don't have the money to help Darfur or anyone at this time. We are currently begging China to fund OUR debt in this so-called stimulus package. We already owe China more than two trillion dollars. Our America is ceasing to exist as we have known and loved it. Let's keep capitalism, it's what made America great! Socialism is a very bad idea, it's European models are failing, despite what Newsweek mag rag claims, socialism is a very bad idea. The President and VP should not be wasting their time chatting with actors in the White House. Clooney should fund his Darfur plans himself and ask his overpaid Hollywood pals to fund it.

    February 24, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  13. america first

    we're having a hard time helping our homeless, hungry, and hurting people, thanks to what bush and the republicans left us to deal with, maybe all you hollywood people, (since you make millions and billions of dollars) can get together and help these other countries, i guess we're not good enough for you to help us.

    February 24, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  14. ray ray

    Obama is such a clown he's taking advice from George Clooney.

    I guess since George played a role in some action films – he knows a thing or two about foreign policy??? (insert sarcasm)

    February 24, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  15. Oregon Calling

    Have have a plan that will help out our country as well as Darfur the only problem is that I am just an "Average American" and don't have any connections so my good, even great, ideas will not be heard 🙁

    February 24, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  16. Jackie in Dallas

    Before all you right wing idiots get carried away, Clooney has poured millions of dollars from his own pockets and money collected from his Hollywood friends into humanitarian care in Darfur. So it is OK for Republican actors to comment on gun control, and it is not OK for another citizen, who just happens to be a high-profile Hollywood type who pays his taxes and spends millions on charity to ask for an envoy to help one of the most ravaged countries in Africa? Geez, guys. Get some priorities straight. Yes, we have big problems here, but a little influence and a small amount of money can make HUGE differences to the lifes of the people of Darfur!

    February 24, 2009 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  17. fella from Chicago

    Another Hollywood clown heard from. Get Penn, Spielberg, and Oprah to buy the country and have Michael Jackson operate it as an amusement park. Just get the kids out first. You people from La-La Hollywood land are too much.

    February 24, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  18. TexAnnie *-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*

    CNN should require a simple quick IQ test before allowing most of you people to post online. My guess is 75% of you would fail it.

    February 24, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  19. Kevin in Ohio

    Great...just what we need .... a liberal hollywood type advising the White House. Clooney, get back to acting, and stay in LA-LA Land.

    February 24, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  20. Jackie in Dallas


    The difference is that while Saddam Hussein was a very bad man, admittedly, his people never really asked for our help...and our invasion was made possible by lies that our President swallowed (or made up) hook, line and sinker. Darfur has been begging for help for years. What the people suffer there makes Iraq look like a paradise.

    And Clooney and quite a few Hollywood types have poured millions into humanitarian aid.

    Oh, and JK in Ashburn...What makes you think Clooney doesn't pay taxes? He's actually a pretty nice guy, who pays his taxes and gives millions to charity. There are a lot of people in Hollywood who are real people, regardless of whether they are stars or not, who do a tremendous amount of good. And last I checked, Clooney, Pitt, Jolie, Damon, et. al. are citizens of this country who pay taxes, support charities, use their name recognition for good causes, and have the right to their opinions. And they are a heck of a lot more informed about the world than you appear to be!

    Talking heads from Hollywood...would that include Reagan, Schwartzenegger, Charlton Heston, etc.? That's the Republican side of the picture.

    February 24, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  21. Veronica, CA

    Oh, geese. Clooney, you can help by personally funding a peace movement in Darfur. Don't ask the President to allocate more money when we don't have money. You should try visiting all the foster homes across America or go down to Skid Row in Los Angeles, CA. You want to change the world then gather up your rich friends and do it!

    February 24, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  22. It's not Clooney

    You're right Karen. I should have just listed the real hero.

    February 24, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  23. Steve (the real one)

    Karen- Tired of the Crap February 24th, 2009 2:04 pm ET
    ... Please McCain family owned slaves.. Enough said.
    And this is McCain's fault? Africans had African slaves too so I guess that is your fault! To be "Tired of the crap" You are sure shoveling more than your share of it!

    February 24, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  24. Rick Sutter

    obama mama – we are borrowing money from China–to send to the thugs ruining Darfur?

    February 24, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  25. Deanna in Denver

    It makes me laugh to see all these republicans spew their venom at Hollywood for being political when they're the ones who LOVE electing them to office!

    February 24, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
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