George Stephanopoulos says he should not have donated money to the Clinton Foundation and that he will not moderate the ABC News-sponsored Republican primary debate in February after failing to disclose those contributions. In an interview with the On Media blog on Thursday, Stephanopoulos said that while he made the donations “for the best reasons,” he now realizes he should not have given. “In retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have, even though I did it for the best reasons,” he said. Stephanopoulos also said that he has given a total of $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation. That figure represents charitable contributions of $25,000 in 2012, 2013 and 2014, respectively. ABC News initially said that Stephanopoulos had given a total of $50,000 to the foundation. The “Good Morning America” co-anchor and host of “This Week” said that he would not moderate ABC’s GOP debate, which is scheduled to take place in February in New Hampshire. Republican Sen. Rand Paul said Thursday that Stephanopoulos should be prohibited from moderating any debates during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Stephanopoulos was the communications director for the 1992 Bill Clinton campaign, later taking the same role at the White House. This morning he issued an apology on the air:
I want to address some news you may have seen about me. Over the last several years I’ve made substantial donations to dozens of charities, including the Clinton Global Foundation. Those donations were a matter of public record but I should have made additional disclosures on-air hen we covered the Foundation. And I now believe that directing personal donations to that foundation was a mistake. Even though I made them strictly support work done to stop the spread of AIDS, help the children, and protect the environment in poor countries, I should’ve gone the extra mile to avoid even the appearance of a conflict. I apologize to all of you for failing to do that.