(…) As many outlets have reported, Weinstein has strong ties to both the Clintons and the Obamas, as well as to the Democratic Party establishment overall. Weinstein has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Democrats since the ‘90s, and has hosted fundraisers for candidates and even a birthday party for Hillary in 2000, during her candidacy for senator of New York. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who was a Republican but is now in the race for the Democratic presidential primary, also had a “years-long, mutually beneficial relationship” with Weinstein, as reported by Fox Business. (Bloomberg’s “company, through its male managers and employees from Chief Executive Officer Bloomberg on down, engaged in a pattern and practice of sexual harassment, sexual degradation of women,” according to one lawsuit; that multi-billion dollar corporation has had several women sign NDAs.)
(…) The Times has also reported that political allies tried to warn Hillary Clinton about his behavior. Both Lena Dunham and Tina Brown (former editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast) allege that they told Hillary’s aides about the stories going around about Weinstein—Brown says she did so in 2002, and Dunham in 2016, during Hillary’s presidential campaign. There’s also reporter Ronan Farrow’s claims to BuzzFeed that Hillary refused to meet with him about another, unrelated book once her team caught wind of his investigation into the sexual assault allegations against Weinstein.
Weinstein is especially proud of his connection to the Clintons, and before the allegations against him became public, both parties did what they could to hand favors back and forth. These indulgences included a Weinstein TV appearance where he interviewed Bill, as well as an appearance on CBS News during Hillary’s 2016 primary campaign that the Clinton team coached him for, according to leaked emails. (As revealed via screenshots by conservative writer Alexandra DeSanctis, in 2012, beloved Hollywood director and former public relations mogul Ava DuVernay tweeted that she had “heard all the Harvey stories over the years” but was “still a fan,” based on this interview with the former president.)
(…) The Obamas also cashed in on their Weinstein connections while the air was clear. In February 2017, Barack Obama’s daughter Malia interned at The Weinstein Company mere months before the allegations against the producer were published. Before that, during the summer of 2015, Malia interned on the set of Dunham’s HBO TV show Girls; Dunham told the Times that, in 2016, during the Clinton presidential campaign, she warned Hillary’s aides—including the campaign’s deputy communications director Kristina Schake and spokeswoman Adrienne Elrod—that Weinstein was a rapist and known throughout the industry to be a predator. According to Dunham, Schake said they would share this information with campaign manager Robby Mook, who is now a political pundit on CNN. Both Elrod and Schake deny that Dunham “mentioned rape,” and Hillary’s current communications director Nick Merrill implied to Times reporters that Dunham should’ve contacted the police, not Hillary’s aides, about the allegations.
Mook knew Weinstein personally, as well. In October, just before the 2016 general election, The Intercept reported on hacked emails that showed Weinstein and Mook strategizing, in April of that year, about how to counter Bernie Sanders’ support from African-American communities, especially given the Sanders campaign’s endorsement from the late Black Lives Matter activist Erica Garner, daughter of Eric Garner, who was killed while unarmed by police officer Daniel Pantaleo in 2014. In the emails, Weinstein brought up the Vermont senator’s voting history on guns, suggesting that Hillary’s campaign link it to the recent Sandy Hook massacre. According to emails, Mook was enthusiastic about the strategy and made plans to meet up with Weinstein to work it out. (Read more: The Daily Beast, 2/29/2020) (Archive)