WASHINGTON — These once commonplace dollars no longer fit in George Soros’ pocketbook. The sole Hungarian billionaire took their place Thursday in the holiday brunch circuit in Washington, helping to finish off one another’s coffee and chatting about “leftovers” like real estate, US tax cuts and Democratic takeover of the House. Soros had a few occasions during the presidential election cycle to chat with Donald Trump, but they didn’t always get along. “He just wants everyone to be rich,” Soros quipped.
All week, Soros has been serving as a local superstar at the annual dueling-table-fellows fundraisers of his Open Society Foundations that have long been a New Year’s Eve tradition in Washington and elsewhere. He’s not a guest, and these events aren’t held to rake in the checks. They are the chance for wealthy global philanthropists to spend more than $100,000 to join fellow billionaires at exclusive gatherings where they touch base with policy wonks, politicians and the chief executives of some of the most powerful companies and charities in the world. They form coalitions of ties, helping to strengthen the pockets of those who can pay for such events, even when they are coming up against the president.
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“Society has suffered hugely,” Soros, 85, said at an event at the Union League Club Thursday. “Every new, great enabler of unregulated, spectacular wealth attracts and celebrates and nurtures bigots.”