MSNBC “Morning Joe” host Mika Brzezinski on Monday was heavily critical of Hillary Clinton’s decision to agree to a debate moderated by ABC host and longtime Clinton ally George Stephanopoulos.
“Are you kidding me?” Brzezinski asked.
During an interview with Stephanopoulos on Sunday, Clinton confirmed that she had agreed to a debate on “Good Morning America,” which Stephanopoulos co-hosts, on Friday, April 15.
The Clinton and Sanders campaigns have been locked in a bitter dispute over holding a debate in New York prior to the state’s April 19 primary. The Sanders campaign initially accused Clinton of attempting to duck a debate. Clinton campaign strategist Joel Benenson responded by saying that Clinton would only debate Sanders if he changed his “tone.”
Both sides have since started negotiating a debate time and location for a debate but have not nailed down the details. Clinton placed the blame for that failure on a recalcitrant Sanders campaign.
“We offered dates, which they refused. You offered — GMA offered — a debate during GMA on Friday the 15th. I’ll be there,” Clinton told Stephanopoulos.
“Wait a minute,” Brzezinski said during “Morning Joe.” “She wants to do a debate with George Stephanopoulos as the moderator?”
“Didn’t he work for her? Didn’t he donate to the Clinton Foundation?” she asked.
“Yes” is the answer to both of those questions.
Stephanopoulos served as communications director in the Bill Clinton White House. He has also donated $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation. He did not disclose the latter during an interview last year with Peter Schweizer, the author of “Clinton Cash,” a book which detailed potential conflicts of interest involving Clinton’s non-profit. (RELATED: ABC’s George Stephanopoulos Failed To Disclose $75K Donation To Clinton Foundation)
Stephanopoulos announced last May, after his Clinton Foundation donation was revealed, that he would recuse himself from GOP debates. He did not promise to do the same, however, in Democratic debates. He has also not pledged to sit out debates held during the general election.
He did not respond to The Daily Caller when asked last May whether he would participate in the debates.