Tags: Hillary Clinton | stephanopoulos | third donation | clinton foundation | moderate | debate

Stephanopoulos Says He Gave Total of $75,000 to Clinton Foundation, Won't Moderate Debate

By    |   Thursday, 14 May 2015 06:06 PM

ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos says he has discovered a third $25,000 gift to the Clinton Foundation, bringing the total to $75,000, CNN reports.

Initial reports indicated that the former staffer to President Bill Clinton had given two gifts over the past two years totaling $50,000 to the charity run by Clinton and his wife, Hillary Clinton, who is a 2016 presidential candidate.

Stephanopoulos told CNN's Brian Stelter Thursday afternoon that he had discovered the third donation from 2012. He also said he would pull out of moderating ABC's Republican presidential debate in February to avoid being a distraction, but said he still will cover the presidential race.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who is seeking the GOP nomination, has called on Stephanopoulos to avoid presidential race coverage, and a spokesman for Sen. Mike Lee of Utah said the senator won't appear on Stephanopoulos' show "This Week" unless he avoids presidential campaign coverage, CNN reported.

Some Republican candidates "may or may not want to play ball with ABC if Stephanopoulos is seen as being tainted," Stelter said Thursday on CNN's "Newsroom."

The donations by Stephanopoulos, who was the communications director for Bill Clinton's first presidential campaign and then White House communications director, were revealed after he interviewed Peter Schweizer, the author of "Clinton Cash," on ABC-TV's "This Week."

Schweizer’s book investigated whether some donations made to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary was Secretary of State were an attempt to influence policy.

During the TV interview, Stephanopoulos told the author, "You take it pretty far."

He continued: "We've done investigative work here at ABC News, found no proof of any kind of direct action. And an independent government ethics expert, Bill Allison, of the Sunline Foundation, wrote this. He said, 'There's no smoking gun, no evidence that she changed the policy based on donations to the foundation.'"

ABC News gave its own statement backing Stephanopoulos:

"As George has said, he made charitable donations to the Foundation to support a cause he cares about deeply and believed his contributions were a matter of public record.

"He should have taken the extra step to notify us and our viewers during the recent news reports about the Foundation. He’s admitted to an honest mistake and apologized for that omission. We stand behind him."

ABC News has said it will take no punitive action against the broadcaster, saying he had made a mistake. Stephanopoulos told CNN he will address the issue on his Sunday broadcast.

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ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos says he has discovered a third $25,000 gift to the Clinton Foundation, bringing the total to $75,000, CNN reports.
stephanopoulos, third donation, clinton foundation, moderate, debate
Thursday, 14 May 2015 06:06 PM
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