President Day Gallery, George Clooney, Barack Obama

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Are President Barack Obama and George Clooney on their way to becoming BFFs?

Well, it certainly looks as if they're heading in that direction.

In a new interview, the commander in chief speaks quite fondly of the actor. And it's not just because the Oscar winner helped rustle up $15 million for Obama's reelection campaign recently, either.

"The truth is we got to know each other because of a substantive issue. He is a terrific advocate on behalf of the people of Darfur, and to the people of Sudan who've been brutalized for a long time," Obama tells Entertainment Tonight.

In fact, the president recalls being involved with Clooney's humanitarian efforts long before entering the White House.

"That was an issue that I was working together on a bipartisan basis, and George, who had traveled there, done documentaries there, and was very well-informed, came to testify in Congress," Obama says of his days as a senator. "And so we got to know each other, and he is a good man, and a good friend."

But despite being buds, Obama notes that Clooney is also very mindful of public perception.

"He's very protective about not bothering me," Obama points out. "And he's also sensitive to the fact that, you know, that if he's around a lot, then somehow it'll be tagged as 'Obama hanging out with Hollywood stars,' and that's not who he is. But he's a good person."

Not to mention a pretty good basketball player.

Then again, Obama already knows that, too.

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