Due to Clinton donations, Stephanopoulos steps down from GOP debate
ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos has recused himself from hosting the upcoming Republican debate in February of 2016. The move comes as previously undisclosed donations, made by Stephanopoulos to the Clinton Foundation, have now come to light calling into question whether the anchor can be trusted as a moderator.
Report from Politico:
George Stephanopoulos says he should not have donated money to the Clinton Foundation and that he will not moderate the ABC News-sponsored Republican primary debate in February after failing to disclose those contributions.
In an interview with the On Media blog on Thursday, Stephanopoulos said that while he made the donations “for the best reasons,” he now realizes he should not have given.
“In retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have, even though I did it for the best reasons,” he said.
Stephanopoulos also said that he has given a total of $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation. That figure represents charitable contributions of $25,000 in 2012, 2013 and 2014, respectively. ABC News initially said that Stephanopoulos had given a total of $50,000 to the foundation.
The “Good Morning America” co-anchor and host of “This Week” said that he would not moderate ABC’s GOP debate, which is scheduled to take place in February in New Hampshire. Republican Sen. Rand Paul said Thursday that Stephanopoulos should be prohibited from moderating any debates during the 2016 presidential campaign.
“I won’t moderate that debate,” Stephanopoulos said. “I think I’ve shown that I can moderate debates fairly. That said, I know there have been questions made about moderating debates this year. I want to be sure I don’t deprive viewers of a good debate.”
The donations in question came in 2012, 2013, and 2014, so these are not ancient history in terms of presidential politics. Senator Rand Paul went ahead and called for Stephanopoulos to step down as moderator before the move had been made.
Also worth noting, Stephanopoulos hosted Republican debates during the 2012 cycle.