ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos disclosed today that he made three separate donations of $25,000 each to the Clinton Foundation in 2012, 2013, and 2014, respectively.
Stephanopoulos had previously failed to disclose the donations and the news was broken by Politico’s Dylan Byers.
“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.”
ABC News also released a statement, where they stood behind their star anchor, “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.” They also stated, “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.”
Stephanopoulos had served as one of the main three members of the Clinton campaign in 1992 and handled communications and press relations. When Bill Clinton went to the White House, Stephanopoulos followed him and served as the spokesman and communications director for a period of time before being replaced by Dee Dee Myers and David Gergen, respectively. He also served as Senior Advisor on Policy and Strategy during Clinton’s first term. Stephanopoulos resigned from the Clinton Administration after President Clinton was re-elected.
After resigning, Stephanopoulos went to ABC News where he served as a political analyst and correspondent. In 2002, he was named host of This Week and in 2005, Chief Washington Correspondent. In 2009, he was named co-host of Good Morning America and was made Chief Anchor of ABC News in 2014 as part of an anchor re-shuffling.
Conservatives have used Stephanopoulos’s donations as evidence of a liberal bias in the media and hypocrisy on the part of Stephanopoulos. Since leaving the White House, Stephanopoulos has worked for people to in some senses forget his past as a Democratic operative and focus on his journalism career. Those who have pointed out his Clinton past and held it against him have been far and few. However, that is changing now. People are also pointing out how heavily Stephanopoulos grilled the author of the Clinton Cash, Peter Schweizer, over the contents of the book. Clinton Cash alleges that foreign companies and countries that donated to the Clinton Foundation received favorable treatment while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State.
Part of the controversy with Stephanopoulos’s donations is his lack of disclosure and the fact that Hillary Clinton is running for President. Several Republicans have called on Stephanopoulos to recuse himself from 2016 coverage. He has said he will not do so, but he will not moderate any debates.