George Stephanopoulos usually reports the news. This time, he is the news. Stephanopoulos apologized on the air after his journalistic credibility was questioned for not publicly disclosing a sizable donation to the Clinton Foundation, according to People magazine.
This was viewed as troubling because Stephanopoulos never mentioned his donation of $75,000, even when he was reporting on the recent controversy surrounding gifts to the Clinton family’s charitable foundation.
On Friday, Stephanopoulos addressed the situation on ABC’s Good Morning America, where he is the chief political correspondent and a co-anchor.
Before the public apology, the 54-year-old journalist had already released a statement to Politico on Thursday in which he apologized and said he was under the impression that the contributions were a matter of public record. He admitted he should have told viewers about his donations between 2012 and 2014 to the Clintons’ nonprofit organization.
“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. 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 was quick to defend Stephanopoulos, who last month interviewed author Peter Schweizer about his book Clinton Cash and the allegations that the Foundation’s donations were used to influence Hillary Clinton’s decisions as secretary of state.
The network defended Stephanopoulos in a statement.
“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.”
Stephanopoulos gives millions of dollars to charities each year. His donations to the Clinton Foundation were strictly made to support the work to stop the spread of AIDS, help children, and protect the environment in poor countries. The news anchor said he should have reported it to avoid having it appear as a conflict. However, Stephanopoulos said he would continue to cover ABC’s political news.
Some people might be wondering why an apology was necessary. The apology was necessary because the policy of ABC News is that any employee making a donation to a charity must let the network know before covering a story related to the organization.
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