Inside the Clintons’ Dinner with Lin-Manuel Miranda and George Clooney During Puerto Rico Trip
Bill and Hillary Clinton, in Puerto Rico for hurricane recovery work, had dinner Monday with Lin-Manuel Miranda and George Clooney after seeing Hamilton
Lin-Manuel Miranda on Sunday gave his final bow for a special production of Hamilton in Puerto Rico — and Bill and Hillary Clinton were in the audience after traveling to the island this week to support their foundation’s hurricane recovery work.
The next night, a source tells PEOPLE, the trio headed to dinner at San Juan’s Cocina Abierta where they were joined by George Clooney, chef José Andrés and Miranda’s father, Luis, along with Clinton Foundation supporters.
“Conversation ranged from philanthropy and current events to family and food — and of course Hamilton,” says the source, who also attended. “Guests were enthusiastic and in a great mood.”
The Clintons are in Puerto Rico as their foundation’s Clinton Global Initiative launches 30 new efforts amid a broader push to help rebuild and revitalize the territory, whose infrastructure was pummeled by the deadly Hurricane Maria in September 2017.
Miranda, the creator and star of Hamilton, said last year he would travel with a temporary production of the Broadway musical to Puerto Rico, where his family is from. Profits went to support arts education. Hamilton began playing in San Juan on Jan. 11 and closed Sunday.
Hillary, “a huge fan” who has seen the show multiple times already, was thrilled to do so again, according to the source. At the show Sunday, she said, “It took my breath away again. It’s such a remarkable feat.”
According to the source, at the Clintons’ dinner Monday with Clooney, Andrés and Miranda, “She was in full fan mode asking Lin a lot of questions about the creative process.”
“Clooney and Miranda discussed their own philanthropic efforts and projects to help Puerto Rico recover,” the source says.
There was time for lighter chatter as well, including “happy baby talk about Clooney’s twins and about Chelsea’s announcement that she’s pregnant with her third child.” Afterward, Andrés took some of the guests on a late-night walking tour of the city and a stop at an out-of-the-way salsa bar.
But the main purpose of the trip for the former president and his wife, a former secretary of state and New York senator, has been focusing on their foundation. Among the efforts is a model farm for Andrés’ World Central Kitchen and a nursery for reforesting the area.
On Sunday, 30,000 lbs. of medical supplies were airlifted in to be distributed among the island’s rural communities.
The Clintons are also drawing attention to what they say is billions in relief funds being held up by the administration of President Donald Trump, though Congress has previously approved the spending. According to November news reports, the president told lawmakers he didn’t want to send any more money to Puerto Rico as he believed it was allegedly “mismanaged.”
Miranda has said that as people rally for the island, it’s important to not forget the arts.
“It’s a struggle to be an arts organization anywhere, particularly on an island that’s been hurt by one of the worst hurricanes in history,” he said in the fall. “I believe art helps us survive. We can’t wait for Puerto Rico to recover to then support the arts because there is no telling when that will be. We need to support the artists who are out there now. We need to have their backs.”