• Obama, Zuckerberg Back Out Of Scandal-Plagued Clinton Foundation Gala


    Prominent figures, like President Obama, Arianna Huffington, Elton John, Leonardo Dicaprio and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg reportedly opted out of attending the annual Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) gala Sunday night.

    The $2 billion glitzy affair in New York City, titled “The Future of Impact,” was intended to attract a star-studded guest list to celebrate the accomplishments of Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton.

    The number of high-profile celebrities and figureheads that have declined invitations the Clinton event is indicative of the respect the Clintons have lost this past year, as Hillary faces questioning about her private email server and the former president may have to step down from his role with CGI.

    Obama, who has yet to endorse a candidate in the Democratic primary, attended every CGI gala in the past, but passed up the event for the first time this year, citing scheduling conflicts. Notably, this was the first time Obama was unable to attend the event since taking office in 2009.

    Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen and French economist Thomas Piketty were both asked to deliver presentations on income inequality, but both declined.

    New York City Mayor de Blasio was invited as a guest rather than as a speaker and notably has refused to endorse Clinton, despite having managed her successful U.S. Senate campaign in 2000.

    The event was focused around bolstering donations to CGI because numerous donors have dropped their sponsorship of the foundation recently.

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