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Billionaire Democratic donor says there's 'way too much money in politics'

Top Democratic donor Marc Lasry wants to do his part to help Hillary Clinton get to the White House, but believes that there is "way too much money in politics" right now.

Hacked Democratic Party emails released last week by WikiLeaks put a spotlight on the party's fundraising practices, particularly its outreach to its wealthy donors. One of those emails talked about asking Lasry for $100,000 for the Democratic National Convention.

The billionaire, who is attending the DNC this week, said he will probably donate to the convention. He just doesn't know what the number is yet.

"At times it does get a little bit crazy because you are being asked to give quite a bit of money," the Avenue Capital CEO said in an interview Thursday with CNBC's "Power Lunch."

"For me, I'll never give to a super PAC. I don't believe in that. I'm happy to give what the federal limits are, in essence what the government says you're allowed to do."

Federal election law allows individuals to contribute up to $100,200 per year to a party convention fund. Individuals can donate $2,700 per election to a candidate, $5,000 to a PAC, $10,000 per year to a state, district or party committee and $33,400 to a national party committee.

Lasry said he doesn't have a problem if people are upset about the transactional nature of politics. However, for him it's about doing something to help others.

"We have to do our bit and my view is I've been phenomenally lucky. I wasn't born here, I was able to come to this country and I think it's a real honor at times to be able to do some of the things that I'm doing."

Lasry has also been trying to defend Wall Street to those who are critical by explaining everything the Street is trying to do.

"At the end of the day, in any industry, there is going to be some bad guys and I think we have our fair share," he said. However, the vast majority of people in any industry really just want to help.

"We've got to keep on doing is doing our bit to try to help the economy and try to help this country."

However, he admitted at times it could be frustrating.

"You sort of put your head down and say, 'OK look, this is going to take a while and you keep on working it. I look at this as its going to take five or 10 years and hopefully for Wall Street it can get its good name back."

Lasry also brushed aside any idea that he would leave his hedge fund to take a position in a potential Clinton administration.

While he said it would be great to serve the country, he's not prepared to leave Avenue Capital.

"What I'm doing at Avenue, I love it. I think it's great," he said. "It's something I'm going to continue doing."


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