George Clooney called White House to complain about how they portrayed Amal’s ICC work

George Clooney reportedly took special offense to Biden’s use of the word ‘outrageous’ when describing the ICC’s decision to pursue a warrant for Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu

Graig Graziosi
Friday 07 June 2024 00:43
Comments
Related video: Biden says US does not recognise ICC jurisdiction

George Clooney reportedly called one of Joe Biden’s top aides last month to rebuke the administration for its reaction to an international arrest warrant for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu - a case the famed actor’s wife backed.

The call between Clooney and Biden’s officials reportedly occurred last month, according to anonymous sources who spoke to the Washington Post.

They said Clooney called Biden’s counselor, Steve Ricchetti, to push back on Biden’s condemnation of the International Criminal Court’s arrest warrants for Netanyahu and Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. They said the actor was especially upset that Biden called the ICC’s actions “outrageous.”

“The ICC prosecutor’s application for arrest warrants against Israeli leaders is outrageous,” Mr Biden said following the warrant announcement.

Clooney also expressed concerns that the administration was considering sanctions against the ICC, which would possibly make his wife, Amal, subject to Biden’s retaliation.

The report comes before a fundraiser for Biden set for this weekend where Clooney is scheduled to appear.

Biden-world officials are reportedly worried that he may withdraw from the event — which will also feature an appearance by former President Barack Obama, late night host Jimmy Kimmel, and Julia Roberts — over the administration’s position on the ICC warrant.

Vice President joe Biden meets with George Clooney, Monday, Feb. 23, 2009 at the White House in Washington. Vice President joe Biden meets with George Clooney, Monday, Feb. 23, 2009 at the White House in Washington. Clooney reportedly called the White House recently to blast them for the reaction to his wife’s work with the International Criminal Court
Vice President joe Biden meets with George Clooney, Monday, Feb. 23, 2009 at the White House in Washington. Vice President joe Biden meets with George Clooney, Monday, Feb. 23, 2009 at the White House in Washington. Clooney reportedly called the White House recently to blast them for the reaction to his wife’s work with the International Criminal Court (The White House)

Last month, the ICC announced arrest warrants for Israeli and Hamas leaders, accusing both sides of war crimes during the ongoing conflict.

“I support the historic step that the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has taken to bring justice to victims of atrocities in Israel and Palestine,” she said after the warrants were announced.

Amal Clooney served with other experts and agreed to recommend to the ICC to seek the warrants. The decision was unanimous. However, the US is not a member of the court.

Netanyahu, Gallant and three Hamas leaders — Yehia Sinwar, Mohammed Deif and Ismail Haniyeh — were all accused of war crimes for their actions over the Isreal-Gaza war. The conflict started on Oct. 7 when Hamas invaded Israel and killed 1,200 people. More than 35,000 Palestinians have been killed since.

Kennedy Center honorees US actor George Clooney (L) and Bono of Irish band U2 attend a reception for the Kennedy Center Honorees in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on December 4, 2022
Kennedy Center honorees US actor George Clooney (L) and Bono of Irish band U2 attend a reception for the Kennedy Center Honorees in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on December 4, 2022 (AFP via Getty Images)

Biden and George Clooney have had a long relationship. Clooney once met with Biden when he was vice president.

In 2022, Biden spoke highly of Clooney during a presentation of the 45th Kennedy Center Honors, saying he “sincerely” respected the actor for his “deep empathy.”

In addition to dealing with an incensed actor, Biden may also be infuriating Ukraine's President Volodomyr Zelensky, as his fundraiser is scheduled for the same night as the embattled leader's peace summit in Switzerland.

Zelensky warned that the summit "needs" to have Biden present for maximum effect, but the president will be skipping.

“His absence would only be met by an applause by Putin, a personal, standing applause by Putin,” Zelensky said during a recent visit to Belgium.

Instead, the White House plans to sent Vice President Kamala Harris over in his place, according to The Telegraph.

“The Vice President will underscore the Biden-Harris administration’s commitment to supporting Ukraine’s effort to secure a just and lasting peace, based on Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and the principles of the UN Charter,” the White House said in a statement.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in