The annual Clinton Global Initiative held by the Clinton Foundation is reportedly snubbed by many celebrities and dignitaries it invited. Sources are saying that five major sponsors have backed out and fundraising has been difficult since the foundation were embroiled in various controversies.
CGI was reportedly snubbed by Pope Francis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen, according to the event insiders who had spoken with Politico on condition of anonymity. Documents leaked to Politico also revealed that French economist Thomas Piketty, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Elton John were invited but were also no-shows. This is also going to be the first time President Barack Obama skipped the annual event. Other world leaders that refused the invitation were British Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“They’ve had a lot of rejections from people – both for membership renewals and speaking roles this year between the campaign, Hillary not being at CGI this year, bad press,” one of the sources told Politico. The sources are also saying that the percentage of those who turned down the invitation increased this year.
Also read: Clinton Foundation On Watch List
While there are those who snubbed the event, other big-wigs were still present. A quick check by Morning News USA to the event’s photo stream in Flickr found billionaire Bill Gates was present. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President, Republic of Liberia; Michel Liès, Group CEO, Swiss Reinsurance Company; Paul Polman, Chief Executive Officer, Unilever; Charlize Theron, Founder CTAOP and United Nations Messenger of Peace were also present.
Mo Ibrahim, Sudanese-British mobile communications entrepreneur and billionaire, Halima Dangote, the daughter of the richest man in Africa, billionaire businessman, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Trudie Styler, wife of the musician Sting, Her Excellency Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi Minister of International Cooperation and Development United Arab Emirates, and Syeda Ghulam Fatima, Pakistani human and labour rights activist, also attended the event. Randy Jackson, Janelle Monae, The Roots BenHarper and Tony Bennett were also there.