ABC News host and former Clinton White House aide George Stephanopoulos has apologized for failing to disclose that he donated $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation.
The failure to disclose the donations raises serious conflict of interest concerns, especially in light of a recent interview Stephanopoulos conducted with the author of a book that questions how the Clinton Foundation operates.
The Washington Free Beacon first investigated Stephanopoulos’ donations. ABC News then alerted Politico that the longtime Democratic strategist gave $25,000 in 2012, 2013 and 2014 to the Clinton Foundation.
Last month, Stephanopoulos conducted an interview with Peter Schweizer, the author of the book “Clinton Cash.”
In the book, Schweizer lays out what he calls a “troubling pattern” of foundation donors winning lucrative contacts or gaining new business in foreign countries.
Stephanopoulos pushed back heavily against Schweizer, saying during their interview, “as you know, the Clinton campaign says you haven’t produced a shred of evidence that there was any official action as secretary that supported the interests of donors.”
“We’ve done investigative work here at ABC News found no proof of any kind of direct action,” he added.
While ABC News did not dive deeper into Schweizer’s findings, other mainstream outlets, like The New York Times and The Washington Post, have.
Stephanopoulos defended the Clintons more, telling Schweizer that the Clintons “say you’ve produced no evidence, and I still haven’t heard any direct evidence, and you just said you have no evidence that she intervened here.”
Stephanopoulos, who served as Bill Clinton’s White House spokesman and policy adviser, also recently defended Hillary Clinton — and took a jab at her opponents — during the fallout over her use of a private email account and private server during her stint as secretary of state.
“I think this tends to blow over, but I think this was a wake-up call to the Clinton campaign about the kind of questions they’re going to be getting all through this process,” Stephanopoulos said in March.
Both Stephanopoulos and ABC News issued statements to Politico on Thursday after the Free Beacon requested comment.
“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,” Stephanopoulos 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.”
“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,” ABC News said in a statement. “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.”
This article has been updated to reflect an additional 2012 donation of $25,ooo.