George Clooney grabbed the spotlight at the Cannes Film Festival on Thursday by saying that Donald Trump will never become president of the United States.

Clooney joined actress Julia Roberts at a press conference to mark the premiere of their film Money Monster, directed by Jodie Foster.

"There is not going to be a President Trump," said Clooney, who blamed the businessman's political rise on the need for US television networks to boost their ratings.

"Fear is not something that drives our country," he said, adding that Americans are not afraid of Muslims or women or refugees, the last of which he described as the biggest crisis facing the world.

Clooney has declared his support for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Trump is the presumptive Republican nominee.

The US star has in the past condemned the Iraq war, campaigned against genocide in Darfur, Sudan, endorsed US President Barack Obama, and raised millions of dollars for victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

Clooney and his wife, the human rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin, met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in February to discuss the global refugee crisis when he attended the Berlin Film Festival.

He's in Cannes to promote Money Monster, the first film that Roberts and Clooney have made together in 12 years. It tells the story of a US TV financial guru held hostage by an irate investor.

Foster told the Cannes press conference that the hostage-taker represents "what a lot of people feel about technology and how they have been left behind."

She said at its heart her film was a story about "men struggling with their sense of failure. They are looking for the value of money and celebrity."

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