ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos issued his first on-air apology Friday morning for failing to disclose to viewers his donations to the Clinton Global Foundation, going as far as to call making the contributions in the first place a “mistake.”
“Over the last several years, I’ve made substantial donations to dozens of charities, including the Clinton Global Foundation,” Stephanopoulos said on “Good Morning America.” “Those donations were a matter of public record, but I should have made additional disclosures on air when I covered the foundation, and I now believe that directing personal donations to that foundation was a mistake.”
The anchor added that even though he donated strictly to support the foundation’s work combating AIDS and protecting the environment, he “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,” he said.
After the conservative news website Washington Free Beacon reported Thursday that Stephanopoulos made $50,000 in personal contributions to the nonprofit, Stephanopoulos told Politico that he actually donated a total of $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation from 2012-2014.
The anchor also withdrew himself from moderating a GOP primary debate after some political figures, including Republican presidential candidate and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), voiced their belief that the donations disqualified Stephanopoulos from the job.
ABC News has said that it won’t punish Stephanopoulos for failing to disclose the donations to viewers, calling it “an honest mistake.”