George Stephanopoulos, the famed former campaign adviser to Bill Clinton’s 1992 and 1996 bids for the White House, is in the hot seat this week in his lucrative post as one of ABC’s top news anchors.
According to a Politico report, Stephanopoulos donated a total of $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation over the three-year period from 2012 to 2014. He failed to disclose this fact to ABC and its viewers ahead of his “grilling” of the author of Clinton Cash, the exposé that has brought the media spotlight on the donor scandal.
What’s more, it was simultaneously revealed that Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, was a former intern for Stephanopoulos, doubling the apparent conflict of interest for the news anchor.
Shortly after the revelations became public, Stephanopoulos announced he will recuse himself as moderator of one of the nine Republican primary debates scheduled just before the all-important Iowa Caucuses.
ABC news executives agreed it was an error for him to not disclose donations. However, they defended the omission as an “honest mistake” and accepted his apology. In its official statement, ABC News said Stephanopoulos “admitted to an honest mistake and apologized for that omission. We stand behind him.” However, as with the recent Brian Williams scandal, it is unlikely that a mea culpa will suffice.
GOP presidential contenders quickly responded to the news. Ted Cruz blasted Stephanopoulos as a “partisan Democrat.” Rand Paul opined that, “no matter how hard he tries,” it will be virtually impossible for Stephanopoulos to be objective, especially concerning the Clintons.