George Stephanopoulos Apologizes on 'GMA' For Not Disclosing Clinton Foundation Donations
"I should have gone the extra mile to avoid even the appearance of a conflict," the ABC morning show's co-anchor said Friday. "I apologize to all of you for failing to do that."
George Stephanopoulos apologized to Good Morning America viewers Friday for failing to disclose donations he made to the Clinton Global Foundation during reports about the organization.
"Now 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 when we covered the foundation," he told viewers. "And I now believe directing personal donations to that foundation was a mistake, even though I made them strictly to support work done to stop the spread of AIDS, help children and protect the environment in poor countries. I should have gone the extra mile to avoid even the appearance of a conflict. I apologize to all of you for failing to do that."
Stephanopoulos remarks come nearly 24 hours after reports emerged that he had donated at least $50,000 to the Clinton Global Foundation but had failed to mention those donations during news reports about the foundation.
His on-air comments repeated much of what he said Thursday in an interview with Politico and in a statement that he released about the incident. Stephanopoulos, who serves as ABC News' chief anchor and hosts both GMA and the Sunday news show This Week, had previously told Politico he would address the scandal on This Week.
The scandal comes after Stephanopoulos last month interviewed Peter Schweizer, whose book Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich investigates donations made to the Clinton Foundation by foreign groups.
Although ABC News released a statement supporting Stephanopoulos, the scandal was enough to get him to step down from plans to moderate an ABC News-sponsored Republican primary debate in February, with GOP presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul saying Stephanopoulos shouldn't moderate any of the 2016 presidential debates.
Stephanopoulos said, though, that he wouldn't recuse himself from all 2016 campaign coverage, something Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah urged the former Clinton staffer to do.
Before joining ABC News, Stephanopoulos worked as President Clinton's communications director and then senior adviser for policy and strategy.
Prior to that, he served as Clinton's communications director on his 1992 campaign.
Watch his GMA apology below.