Tags: Hillary Clinton | Newsmax Now | Pope Francis | Ike Seamans | George Stephanopoulos | journalist | operative

Ex-NBC Reporter: Stephanopoulos Is a 'Political Operative'

By    |   Tuesday, 19 May 2015 04:25 PM

Having a background in politics, but not in journalism, blinded George Stephanopoulos of ABC News to the folly of donating $75,000 to the family foundation of a presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, who he is covering as the network's chief political correspondent, says retired NBC News reporter Ike Seamans.

"His problem is that he is a nontraditional journalist — in fact, he is not a journalist," Seamans told "Newsmax Now" host Miranda Khan on Newsmax TV on Tuesday. "He's a political operative — and I use that in the best sense — who had been given massive powers by ABC."

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Stephanopoulos, previously a top campaign aide and White House adviser to Clinton's husband, Bill Clinton, has apologized for the donations on both of the ABC programs that he hosts, "Good Morning America" and the Sunday news recap "This Week."

He has agreed to step aside as a moderator of Republican presidential primary debates.

But the controversy, which erupted last week after the conservative Washington Free Beacon first spotted the donations, has not abated.

Stephanopoulos is facing calls to recuse himself entirely from covering the 2016 presidential campaign.

"This is not going away with the apologies he's making on air," said Seamans.

On Tuesday, it emerged that Stephanopoulos also volunteered regularly at the foundation, serving as a moderator and judge for a Clinton Global Initiative awards program, according to The Washington Post.

The New York Post reported this week that ABC recently extended Stephanopoulos' contract for $105 million — and now fears a Brian Williams-like crisis in the making.

"How can he moderate a debate or question a Republican candidate without questions over his impartiality?" an unnamed source told the Post.

"This is what happens when you're not trained as a journalist," said Seamans, "and you don't understand that you probably should be objective and shouldn't be contributing to charitable foundations run by your former boss, one of the most political men on Earth.

"A man who's not trained in journalism doesn't know that, and to me that's George Stephanopoulos," he said.

Seamans also discussed the Vatican extending formal diplomatic recognition to an independent Palestinian state — a move opposed by Israel — and Pope Francis canonizing two Arab nuns from Palestine.

"This should not surprise anybody," said Seamans, who worked in NBC bureaus in Rome and the Middle East. He said that for decades the Vatican has "always spoken in favor of a Palestinian State, if not officially, unofficially."

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Having a background in politics, but not in journalism, blinded George Stephanopoulos of ABC News to the folly of donating $75,000 to the family foundation of a presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, says retired NBC News reporter.
Ike Seamans, George Stephanopoulos, journalist, operative
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2015-25-19
Tuesday, 19 May 2015 04:25 PM
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