Biden Campaign Blames ‘Pre-Existing Tensions’ With Clooney Over Gaza for Actor’s Op-Ed Calling for His Exit

The actor’s wife Amal Clooney was among experts ICC consulted before issuing an arrest warrant against Benjamin Netanyahu

Joe Biden and George Clooney
Joe Biden (Getty Images)/George Clooney (Getty Images)

The Biden-Harris campaign is partly blaming “pre-existing tensions” with George Clooney over the war in Gaza for the actor’s New York Times op-ed in which he called for President Biden to drop out of the presidential race.

When asked for a comment about the op-ed, an individual close to the campaign told TheWrap, “There were pre-existing tensions with Clooney. See the call on Gaza” and added that “the president had literally just gotten off the plane from G7” ahead of Clooney’s June 15 fundraiser, during which several people “complained about exhaustion and the grueling pace.”

In his op-ed Wednesday, Clooney wrote that at a fundraiser in June, Biden “was the same man” viewers saw during his disastrous debate appearance against Donald Trump on June 27.

“I love Joe Biden. As a senator. As a vice president and as president. I consider him a friend, and I believe in him,” Clooney wrote. “Believe in his character. Believe in his morals. In the last four years, he’s won many of the battles he’s faced,” the actor wrote.

“But the one battle he cannot win is the fight against time. None of us can. It’s devastating to say it, but the Joe Biden I was with three weeks ago at the fund-raiser was not the Joe ‘big F-ing deal‘ Biden of 2010. He wasn’t even the Joe Biden of 2020. He was the same man we all witnessed at the debate.’”

The Biden-Harris campaign insisted the president stayed at the fundraiser in question 3 hours longer than Clooney. The campaign told the Times, “The President stayed for over three hours, while Clooney took a photo quickly and left.”

On June 6, the actor spoke to Biden advisor Steve Ricchetti about Biden’s response to the International Criminal Court’s issuance of arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. Clooney’s wife, lawyer and human rights activist Amal Clooney, worked on the case, which Biden described as “outrageous.”

Clooney headlined that Biden fundraiser 12 days later.

Clooney’s op-ed is just the latest in a series of calls for Biden to step down. Director Rob Reiner repeated his own call on Wednesday in response to Clooney. He said on X, “My friend George Clooney has clearly expressed what many of us have been saying. We love and respect Joe Biden. We acknowledge all he has done for our country. But Democracy is facing an existential threat. We need someone younger to fight back. Joe Biden must step aside.”

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