Democrats (and much of Hollywood) are distancing themselves from movie producer Harvey Weinstein, after the New York Times exposed his long-time sexual harassment of dozens of women. However, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama remain strangely silent about their close friend, especially when it comes to the millions of dollars Weinstein donated and raised for their campaigns and organizations.
Even while a number of prominent Democrats have announced they are refusing to keep Weinstein’s donations, Hillary and Barack have said nothing. They have also said nothing about his behavior, when they were quick to make political hay on accusations against Donald Trump.
Within hours of the Las Vegas terror attack on Sunday, both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were making public statements and demanding action on gun control. When it comes to reacting to the sex allegations of someone both consider a personal friend, they have said nothing for days.
After it was revealed that Weinstein groped and sexually harassed a number of women for decades, Democrats he donated to have been announcing his money will in turn be given to charity or a women’s group. He has received no support from the Democrats he himself once supported.
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, however, have said nothing about rejecting the donations they received.
Weinstein was a “bundler” for the Obama campaign in 2012. That means he organized large donations from other people because he already donated the legal limit to Obama. He raised hundreds of thousands for the Obama campaign alone. Malia Obama even interned with Weinstein’s movie production company during college.
For Hillary Clinton, Weinstein also raised hundreds of thousands of dollars. He even hosted a fundraiser in his own home in June of 2016, raising $1.6 million for her presidential campaign in one night. He also donated generously to Clinton’s other ventures, including the Clinton Foundation.
Democratic senators started handing back the fortune Harvey Weinstein has donated and helped raise on Friday as his shame was revealed.
But Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, the biggest recipients of his support and generosity, remained silent over whether they would do the same.
Weinstein is one of the Democratic Party’s most prolific donors, having raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama’s campaigns alone.
But the movie producer was rapidly becoming persona non grata after he took a leave of absence from Miramax when it surfaced on Thursday that he had been accused of sexually harassing multiple women over the past two decades.
On Friday morning five liberal senators handed personal donations Weinstein had made to charity. More followed in the afternoon, among them Chuck Schumer, the Senate minority leader and therefore the party’s most senior figure.
Patrick Leahy, the Vermont senator, was first out of the gate, giving $2,700 to charity, the Daily Beast reported.
He was followed by Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusetts, Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Christine Gillbrand, of New York and Corey Booker of New Jersey.
In the afternoon came Schumer, Al Franken of Minnesota, Kamala Harris of California, and Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Buzzfeed reported. Charities which aid abused women will be among those the cash goes to from the senators.
At least four of the senators – Warren, Booker, Harris and Gillbrand – are seen as having presidential ambitions.
Their moves leave Clinton and Obama open to mounting embarrassment and for the 2016 presidential loser, allegations of hypocrisy.
But the Democratic National Committee said it would give only give $30,000 away – Weinstein had donated $250,000 to it since 2003 – and not a cent to charity.
Instead it will go to groups which try to get female Democratic candidates elected.
Weinstein has held numerous star-studded campaign events to bring in Hollywood money for Clinton and Obama since 2008, and poured money into Democratic senate and congressional campaigns.
Weinstein also maxed out his personal contributions to Clinton with a $5,400 check to her 2016 campaign and $30,000 to her Hillary Victory Fund.
Since 2003, he has donated over $250,000 to the Democratic National Committee, which supports the election of the Democratic presidential nominee.
Among the contributions Weinstein made to prominent Democrats include:
- $679,275 raised as a ‘bundler’ for Obama’s 2012 campaign
- $250,000 donations to the Democratic National Committee since 2003
- $250,000 to the Clinton Foundation since 2003
- $30,000 to the Hillary Victory Fund in 2016
- $16,200 to Chuck Schumer in total
- $5,400 – the legal maximum – to Clinton’s campaign in 2016
- $5,400 to Richard Blumenthal in 2016
- $5,400 to Martin Heinrich in 2017
- $5,400 to Al Franken in 2014
- $5,000 to Elizabeth Warren in 2012
- $10,000 to Corey Booker in 2013