ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos apologized on air this morning on Good Morning America for having made donations to the Clinton Foundation and for not disclosing those donations to his employer or viewers while covering the political couple or their foundation for the news division.
“I want to address some news you may have seen about me,” he began, about 24 hours after the story first broke. “Over the last several years I’ve made substantial donations to dozens of charities, including the Clinton Foundation. Those donations were a matter of public record but I should have made additional disclosures on air when we covered the foundation.
“I now believe that direct and personal donations to that foundation was a mistake. Even though I made them to support work done to stop the spread of AIDS, help children, and protect the environment in poor countries, I should have gone the extra mile to avoid even the appearance of a conflict. I apologize to all of you for failing to do that.”
“George, we have a lot of weather news to get to,” Amy Robach segued awkwardly.
The on-air apology came the morning after Stephanopoulos said in print he should not have made the donations to the foundation, and he will not moderate ABC News’ GOP primary debate in February after several Republican politicians demanded the longtime journalist/former Clinton staffer recuse himself from covering the 2016 presidential race for the network.
Earlier yesterday, Stephanopoulos had apologized for not having told his employer or viewers that he gave $75K to the foundation in 2012, ’13 and ’14. Stephanopoulos, the news division’s chief political correspondent, host of its Sunday Beltway show This Week and GMA co-anchor, has spent about four times as much time working as a journalist as he did working for President Clinton as communications director and senior adviser. But the donation news, mixed with that personal connection to the Clintons, has created a headache at ABC News.
Stephanopoulos’ on-air mea culpa came just in the nick of time: Sen. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is his This Week guest this Sunday.