Ben Affleck testifies about the Congo, stays mum about senate bid

Ben Affleck talks with Johnnie Carson, assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of African Affairs.
Ben Affleck talks with Johnnie Carson, assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of African Affairs.Susan Walsh/Associated press

Homeboy Ben Affleck was in D.C. Wednesday, but not to measure the drapes in Senator John Kerry’s office. Indeed, the actor/director would not comment on speculation that he might be interested in running for Senate if Kerry becomes President Obama’s secretary of state. “That’s not what I’m here to talk about,” Affleck told Politico. “I’m here to talk about what role we can play in making the Eastern Congo a better place.” And that’s what he did. Affleck, who founded The Eastern Congo Initiative in 2009, testified that he will make his 10th visit to the region soon and he called on the government to bring international leaders together to address the conflict in Eastern Congo. “From the outset, let me say that I am not here to ask for precious American tax dollars, I am here today to respectfully request you use the most important power you have, your collective voice as representatives of the United States of America,” said Affleck, whose political thriller “Argo” is nominated for a few Golden Globes. Variety reported Wednesday that he’s dropped out of “Focus,” in which he was due to costar with Kristen Stewart. Affleck is instead concentrating on producing and starring in “Live by Night,” based on the book by Dennis Lehane, and developing the Whitey Bulger biopic.

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