George Stephanopoulos: Clinton Foundation Donor
Former Clinton official failed to disclose $50,000 in donations to ABC.
So here's what political Twitter/blogosphere will be chewing over for the next few hours. From Politico:
ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos has given $50,000 to the Clinton Foundation in recent years, charitable contributions that he did not publicly disclose while reporting on the Clintons or their non-profit organization, the On Media blog has learned.
In both 2013 and 2014, Stephanopoulos made a $25,000 donation to the 501 nonprofit founded by former president Bill Clinton, the Foundation's records show. Stephanopoulos never disclosed this information to viewers, even when interviewing author Peter Schweizer last month about his book "Clinton Cash," which alleges that donations to the Foundation may have influenced some of Hillary Clinton's actions as Secretary of State.
"I made charitable donations to the Foundation in support of the work they're doing on global AIDS prevention and deforestation, causes I care about deeply," he said. "I thought that my contributions were a matter of public record. However, in hindsight, I should have taken the extra step of personally disclosing my donations to my employer and to the viewers on air during the recent news stories about the Foundation. I apologize."
In a statement to the On Media blog on Thursday, Stephanopoulos apologized and said that he should have disclosed the donations to ABC News and its viewers.
Although Politico broke the story, Andrew Stiles of the Washington Free Beacon says the disclosure to Politico happened after he contacted ABC News for comment. His version of the story is here. Here is ABC's response:
As George has said, he made charitable donations to the Foundation to support a cause he cares about deeply and believed his contributions were a matter of public record. He should have taken the extra step to notify us and our viewers during the recent news reports about the Foundation. He's admitted to an honest mistake and apologized for that omission. We stand behind him.
Political Twitter is reminding everybody this morning that MSNBC suspended Keith Olbermann back in 2010 after he gave donations to political campaigns. The Clinton Foundation, though, is not a political campaign. It's ostensibly a philanthropic charity, and that's Stephanopoulos' explanation for his donations. But the Foundation is mired in the aforementioned scandal over allegations that foreign donors were hoping their contributions would influence Hillary Clinton's decisions as secretary of state. Peter Suderman has more about that big mess here and here.
Stephanopoulos' ties to the Clinton family are obviously well-known. He was President Bill Clinton's former communications director, for heaven's sake. Arguably, even if he hadn't donated to the foundation, he had enough personal emotional stake in the Clintons that ABC should have never had him interview Schweizer anyway.