George Stephanopoulos' donations to the Clinton Foundation prove the ABC News chief anchor is really a "partisan Clinton affiliate pretending to be a reporter," said William Jacobson, a professor of law at Cornell Law School.
And Jacobson told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV
that at a "bare minimum," the network must prohibit him from covering the 2016 presidential campaign.
"I know that's a big blow for somebody in his position, but he concealed not just a bias, but a conflict of interest," Jacobson said.
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Last week, Stephanopoulos, a onetime top aide to President Bill Clinton, apologized to viewers for donating $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation and for failing to disclose it earlier.
Jacobson said that before the disclosure, Stephanopoulos conducted a combative interview with Peter Schweitzer, author of "Clinton Cash," a book critical of the Clintons.
"He subjected an author to really what amounted to just abuse in the context by not disclosing their questioners' own conflicts of interest," he said.
"It was not a proper interview, it was not a proper disclosure, it appears to have at least potentially violated ABC's own rules.
"And it really confirms our worst fears about George Stephanopoulos, which is that he is a partisan Clinton affiliate pretending to be a reporter. That sounds harsh, but that's what it looks like and I don't see how he can possibly do campaign coverage for them."
ABC is standing behind Stephanopoulos, but Jacobson told Steve Malzberg the network has "a brand to protect."
Still, he added, putting Stephanopoulos "front and center" in coverage of the campaign, in which Hillary Clinton is seeking the Democratic nomination, is "not going to do that brand any good."
"He cannot be [in] their news coverage. If he wants to give commentary, if he wants to be somebody who just expresses an opinion, that's a different story. But he should not be their news person on the campaign," Jacobson said.
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