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Ben Affleck came to Capitol Hill on Tuesday, and his appearance caused a bit of mayhem.
The scene looked more like a movie premiere than a congressional hearing, with throngs of fans trying to get a look at the award-winning actor and director and dozens of camera bulbs flashing.
Affleck testified at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on turmoil in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Great Lakes Region. His nonprofit organization, Eastern Congo Initiative, has been active in facilitating economic and social development in eastern Congo.
"Many of us in Washington remember him as Tony Mendez in 'Argo'," Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) said of Affleck.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) noted Affleck's celebrity status and lauded his "depth of commitment" to Congolese issues and activism.
"I've always considered Sen. McCain the real celebrity," Affleck quipped, sparking laughter.
Affleck pushed for "targeted investment" in the region's economy, touting his group's involvement in creating a partnership between the chocolate company Theo and Congolese cocoa farmers. He held up a Theo chocolate bar to show to the committee.
"This is an example of a public-private partnership that has worked really well" Affleck said. "You can buy it at Whole Foods."
Affleck, a Democrat, has not ruled out a run for political office.
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