George Clooney has defended the right of Hollywood actors to comment on politics and claimed that Donald Trump is himself a “Hollywood elitist”.

“When Meryl [Streep] spoke, everyone on that one side said: ‘Well that’s elitist Hollywood speaking,’” Mr Clooney said, referring to the reaction to a speech criticising the US President by the Oscar-winning actor.

At January's Golden Globe Awards, Ms Streep chastised Mr Trump for mocking disabled reporter Serge Kovaleski.

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"When the powerful use their position to bully others we all lose," she said.

Mr Trump responded by calling her "one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood" on Twitter, while others criticised her for her elitist stance.

Golden Globes: Meryl Streep condemns Donald Trump's behaviour

Stepping in to her defence, Mr Clooney claimed that it was Mr Trump who was part of the Hollywood elite.

“Donald Trump has 22 acting credits in television,” he told French broadcaster Canal+. “He collects $120,000 year in his Screen Actors Guild pension fund. He is a Hollywood elitist.”

A financial disclosure by the Republican during his campaign revealed he received a $110,228 (£88,000) Hollywood pension, acquired after he appeared in the NBC reality series The Apprentice and its spin-off series, The Celebrity Apprentice.

He earned $213.6m (£170m) from his appearances on the programmes, according to a statement from his campaign.

Mr Trump has appeared in 19 TV shows and films dating back to 1981, according the research site IMDB.com, playing himself in the 2001 comedy Zoolander and in 1992’s Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.

Mr Clooney added that Ms Streep “has every right to speak up”, as “she was an American citizen long before she was an icon.”

Meryl Streep renews criticism of President Trump

A vocal Democrat who hosted fundraiser for Hillary Clinton during the presidential campaign, the actor also criticised the White House's chief strategist.

Steve Bannon is a failed film writer and director. That's the truth, that’s what he’s done,” he said. “He wrote a Shakespearean rap musical about the LA riots that he couldn’t get made. He made a lot of money off of Seinfeld.

“He’s elitist Hollywood, I mean, that’s the reality.”

Mr Bannon, a former financier at Goldman Sachs, acquired a share of the royalties from the cult sitcom Seinfeld in 1993 as part of the sale of Castle Rock Entertainment to Turner Broadcasting System.

Following his career at the finance company, he started producing, writing and occasionally directing his own movies, beginning with an admiring portrayal of Ronald Reagan called In the Face of Evil: Reagan's War in Word and Deed.

Since then he has produced films on illegal immigration, federal government and conservative women.

Calling on the media to increase pressure on Mr Trump, Clooney said: “We have a demagogue in the White House. We need the fourth estate, which is journalists, to hold his feet to the fire.”

The Ocean's 11 star– who predicted in May that the real estate mogul would not win the election – said calling Mr Trump the President “still catches in your throat".

“But we’ll fix it,” he said. “We have to.”

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