Journalist and television personality George Stephanopoulos, already embroiled in a journalistic ethics scandal over $75,000 donations to the Clinton Foundation, has also served as a moderator and awards judge for a spinoff organization, “Clinton Cash” author Peter Schweizer revealed Monday.
The Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) is an offshoot of the Clinton Foundation which convenes meetings of leaders from around the world to discuss both international and domestic issues and seek to find solutions. Stephanopoulos was a full member of CGI in 2010 and 2011, and now it has emerged that he spent years moderating CGI events and judging awards it gives out without ever disclosing this role to viewers of his television programs.
As far back as 2006, Stephanopoulos was a panel moderator and featured attendee for a CGI conference. Stephanopoulos made additional appearances as a panelist and featured attendee at CGI’s annual conferences in 2007 and 2008. He was a moderator again in 2009, and then in both 2013 and 2014 he served as a contest judge alongside Chelsea Clinton.
Despite this extensive entanglement with CGI, Stephanopoulos made no mention of these associations when he interviewed Schweizer about his book during an appearance on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.” Clinton Cash focuses extensively on the Clinton Foundation and the network of major donors it is involved with. Many of these donors appeared at the same conferences Stephanopoulos served as a moderator or panelist at.
Stephanopoulos’ failure to disclose his extensive ties represent a significant possible conflict of interest, since Stephanopoulos will be ABC’s chief political correspondent in the 2016 presidential election, where Hillary Clinton is the heavy favorite to be the Democratic nominee.
ABC News, however, insisted to The Washington Post that the anchor’s behavior has been “all aboveboard.” It pointed out that many other journalists have been CGI members, including CNN’s Anderson Cooper, New York Times opinion writer Thomas Friedman, and Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren. However, those other individuals don’t have the added conflicts of being former Clinton employees (Stephanopoulos worked for Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign and subsequent administration), nor have they given thousands of dollars to the Foundation.
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