Stephanopoulos gave $50,000 to Clinton Foundation, didn’t disclose during coverage of scandal; ABC News: “Honest mistake”; Update: Other coverage without disclosure from 2013, 2014; Update: Two weeks ago, too

posted at 10:01 am on May 14, 2015 by Ed Morrissey

Remember when George Stephanopoulos declared during an interview with Clinton Cash author Peter Schweizer that the book had found no “smoking gun” against the Clinton Foundation and the Clintons themselves? Guess what Stephanopoulos didn’t declare — his own financial contributions to an organization that Sunlight Foundation official Bill Allison said operates like “a slush fund for the Clintons.” Dylan Byers at Politico discovered a smoking gun aimed at the credibility of Stephanopoulos as a journalist:

ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos has given $50,000 to the Clinton Foundation in recent years, charitable contributions that he did not publicly disclose while reporting on the Clintons or their non-profit organization, the On Media blog has learned.

In both 2013 and 2014, Stephanopoulos made a $25,000 donation to the 501 nonprofit founded by former president Bill Clinton, the Foundation’s records show. Stephanopoulos never disclosed this information to viewers, even when interviewing author Peter Schweizer last month about his book “Clinton Cash,” which alleges that donations to the Foundation may have influenced some of Hillary Clinton’s actions as Secretary of State.

The Free Beacon also had this [update]. Stephanopoulos apologized in a statement, saying that he considered the donations in the public record in the first place:

“I made charitable donations to the Foundation in support of the work they’re doing on global AIDS prevention and deforestation, causes I care about deeply,” he said. “I thought that my contributions were a matter of public record. However, in hindsight, I should have taken the extra step of personally disclosing my donations to my employer and to the viewers on air during the recent news stories about the Foundation. I apologize.”

This apology is not just insufficient, but it magnifies the problem for ABC. First, no one will buy that having one’s name on a tax form buried in a file constitutes full disclosure for a journalist working on a story about an organization to which he has financial ties. It’s absurd. The entire point of journalism is to inform readers and viewers, not to play coy games about issues directly related to credibility.

Second and more important, Stephanopoulos’ statement shows why he never should have conducted the interview with Schweizer in the first place. Stephanopoulos was already suspect, given his connections to the Clinton White House in the 1990s, on any topic that delves into potential scandal in Clintonland. Here he admits that he went into that interview with the predetermined perspective that the foundation operates legitimately as a charity, a point which has come under heavy scrutiny by watchdog groups such as Charity Navigator. The “interview” was little more than a barely veiled attempt at spin control on behalf of the Clinton Foundation and the Clintons themselves, and now we know at least one reason why.

Byers reports that ABC News is standing by Stephanopoulos, but one wonders for how long. What would they do with another reporter who failed to disclose a serious financial relationship between themselves and a story, especially one with the political consequences as this one? Because if they truly don’t think that’s a serious problem, then the smoking gun in this case points not just to the credibility of Stephanopoulos but to ABC News, too.

Update: “Honest mistake,” says ABC News:

Honest? Let’s recall the exchange between Stephanopoulos and Schweizer:

STEPHANOPOULOS: As you know, the Clinton campaign says you haven’t produced a shred of evidence that there was any official action as secretary that — that supported the interests of donors.

SCHWEIZER: Well…

STEPHANOPOULOS: 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 (ph), wrote this. He said, “There’s no smoking gun, no evidence that she changed the policy based on donations to the foundation.”

No smoking gun.

Is there a smoking gun?

SCHWEIZER: Yes. The smoking gun is in the pattern of behavior. And here’s the analogy I would give you. It’s a little bit like insider trading. I wrote a book on Congressional insider trading a couple of years ago and talked with prosecutors.

Most people that engage in criminal insider trading don’t send an e-mail that says I’ve got inside information, buy this stock.

The way they look at it, they look at a pattern of stock trades. If the person has access to that information and they do a series of well-timed trades, that warrants investigation.

I think the same thing applies here.

By the way, what’s important to note is it was confirmed on Thursday, both by “The New York Times” and “The Wall Street Journal,” that there were multi-million dollar, non-disclosed donations that were made to the Clinton Foundation that were never disclosed by the Clintons.

This is a direct breach of an agreement they signed with the White House.

STEPHANOPOULOS: That — that is an issue for them, but it’s not a criminal — it’s nothing that would warrant a criminal investigation.

Gee, maybe that would have been a good time to add, “Just to be clear, I’ve donated $50,000 to the Clinton Foundation,” for the sake of honesty.

Update: Jeryl Bier notes that Stephanopoulos didn’t disclose his donations in other coverage directly about the Clinton Foundation. For instance, he fronted a 9-minute segment in September 2014 extolling the foundation during an interview with Bill Clinton, and another interview in 2013 in which Stephanopoulos ignored a story in The New Republic raising questions about donations to the Clinton Global Initiative. Are those just “honest mistakes,” too?

Update: I’m not sure if the Free Beacon had it first, so I’ve added a link to their story near the top of the article.

Update: Newsbusters and Twitchy point out that Stephanopoulos failed to disclose his donation when challenging Bernie Sanders on his criticisms of the Clinton Foundation on the May 3rd edition of This Week, too:

STEPHANOPOULOS: You told my colleague John Karl this week that you have some concerns about the money raised by the Clinton Foundation. What are those concerns exactly?

Perhaps one concern is that the media has literally bought into the Clinton slush fund. There is absolutely no excuse for not disclosing his own connections to the foundation while asking this question of Hillary Clinton’s primary opponent.


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Comments

Looksie!

It gets even more inbred

link-a-dink

AprilApple on May 14, 2015 at 3:59 PM

Oh , now that I read some of the later posts, maybe Stephy HAS almost equaled “The Donald’s” generosity to Hill and Bill.

LegendHasIt on May 14, 2015 at 4:01 PM

The Donald hasn’t exactly been embraced by the “right”.

He’s a self-centered weirdo who sticks his foot in his mouth. He can get lost, too.

Anyone dumb enough to give that much money to the Clinton Global Slush Fund Pay-to-Play Initiative, is pitiful.

AprilApple on May 14, 2015 at 4:11 PM

So you got NBC’s Brian Williams making things up, ABC’s stephanopoulos with disclosure issues, but the president wants to talk trash on fox news? I guess he really is transparent.

Emett_the_great on May 14, 2015 at 4:16 PM

Looksie!

It gets even more inbred

Indeed,

Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook

I believe that should read, “the aptly named Robby Mook”.

The Clinton campaign did not return a request for comment on Mook’s relationship with Stephanopoulos.

Of course not.

F X Muldoon on May 14, 2015 at 4:28 PM

Last I heard, the total is $75,000.

This is great. Every Republican on his show from now until he resigns should mention it prominently, no matter what issue they were invited to discuss.

Adjoran on May 14, 2015 at 4:33 PM

does this really surprise anyone, how many other “news people” donate to political parties either directly or to phantom groups like the foundation. by the way great way to get money, no limits on the donations and tax free to boot.

RonK on May 14, 2015 at 4:34 PM

So basically George is going to bide his time and wait and see what else is discovered. Why do all the friends of the Clintons have such poor memories?

BettyRuth on May 14, 2015 at 4:46 PM

Right after I get my fill of honest news from George Stephanopoulos tonight, on ABC, I’m calling Tiger Woods to ask him for advice on how to ‘keep it in my pants.’

gwgm on May 14, 2015 at 4:48 PM

Update:

75,000$

AprilApple on May 14, 2015 at 4:48 PM

This is great. Every Republican on his show from now until he resigns should mention it prominently, no matter what issue they were invited to discuss.

No matter what, indeed.
We’ve noted the GOP is slow to wise up. I sure hope they do it. Wow that would be satisfying.

AprilApple on May 14, 2015 at 4:54 PM

Surprised they have not updated the total which is now $75,000.
Guess just another honest mistake.

Tommyhour on May 14, 2015 at 5:06 PM

George should recuse himself from journalism

tej on May 14, 2015 at 5:08 PM

They’ve been crooked as heck from day one. The sham media has been kissin’ cousins of the DNC alllll along.

bill glass on May 14, 2015 at 5:53 PM

Dude was the spokesman for the Clinton administration. Why are we even pretending he’s not biased?

lorien1973 on May 14, 2015 at 5:57 PM

Is there anyone in America who knows who Stephanopoulos is that doesnt already know he’s a Clinton-ite. This is interesting news I guess, but it shouldnt change anyone’s overall opinion of Steph or Billary. Before – I trust neither and think they are both sleaze-bags; now…

DocNathan on May 14, 2015 at 6:00 PM

I hope Republicans either stay away from George and ABC, or when they do go on, they interrogate him about this and bring it up incessantly.

Midas on May 14, 2015 at 6:25 PM

The story is not that he is biased. Everyone knew that, and ABC knew everyone knew that.

The story is not that he failed to disclose the donation.

The story is what he got (or what ABC News got if he was just the bag man) from the Clintons in exchange for the $50 large.

Ted Torgerson on May 14, 2015 at 6:38 PM

Keith Olbermann was bounced out of MSNBC for less. Much less.

Then again, Olbermann had none of the boyish good looks and charm, but all of the bias, that Stephanopoulos has displayed to date.

Mommys Little Darling on May 14, 2015 at 7:11 PM

They’ve been crooked as heck from day one. The sham media has been kissin’ cousins of the DNC alllll along.

bill glass on May 14, 2015 at 5:53 PM

I’m thinking that the sham media has been kissin’ other parts of the DNC’s collective carcass, but “cousins” won’t bring on the ban hammer.

Mommys Little Darling on May 14, 2015 at 7:14 PM

George Stephanopoulos gave $75,000 to the Clintons via their Foundation?

Dang! Sure seems like it was the Clintons who should have been paying George for all of the favorable “news” spinning George has done for the Clintons over the years.

George Step-in-awful-stuff must be the world’s worst negotiator!

wren on May 14, 2015 at 7:34 PM

“I made charitable donations to the Foundation in support of the work they’re doing on global AIDS prevention and deforestation, causes I care about deeply,”

If George Stephanopoulos is really so deeply concerned about AIDS prevention and deforestation, surely he must be aware of other charitable organizations that work on these issues.

Does anybody (I’m looking at you ABC.) have any evidence of George Stephanopoulos supporting these issues via any other way outside of the Clinton Foundation?

AIDS has been an issue since the 1980’s which was well before the Clinton Foundation existed.

When did George Stephanopoulos become so deeply concerned about AIDS?

How did George support the AIDS cause before the Clinton Foundation was established?

wren on May 14, 2015 at 7:54 PM

all of these criminals are progressive communists, fundamentally transforming america. nobody will like this civil war, but it seems it is necessary.

tm11999 on May 14, 2015 at 8:03 PM

Edward “Ed” Mezvinsky, born January 17, 1937.

Then you’ll probably say, “Who is Ed Mezvinsky?” Well, he is a former Democrat congressman who represented Iowa’s 1st congressional district in the United States House of Representatives for two terms, from 1973 to 1977.
He sat on the House Judiciary Committee that decided the fate of Richard Nixon. He was outspoken saying that Nixon was a crook and a disgrace to politics and the nation and should be impeached.
He and the Clintons were friends and very politically intertwined for many years.

Ed Mezvinsky had an affair with NBC News reporter Marjorie Sue Margolies and later married her after his wife divorced him.

In 1993, Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky, then a freshman Democrat in Congress, cast the deciding vote that got President Bill Clinton’s
controversial tax package through the House of Representatives.
In March 2001, Mezvinsky was indicted and later pleaded guilty to 31 of 69 counts of bank fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud.
Ed Mezvinsky embezzled more than $10 million dollars from people via both a Ponzi scheme and the notorious Nigerian e-mail scams.
He was found guilty and sentenced to 80 months in federal prison.
After serving less than five years in federal prison, he was released in April 2008 and remains on federal probation.
To this day, he still owes $9.4 million in restitution to his victims.
About now you are saying, “So what!”

Well, think about Marc and Chelsea Mezvinsky.

That’s right, Ed Mezvinsky is Chelsea Clinton’s new father-in law.

Now Marc and Chelsea are in their early thirties and purchased a 10.5 million dollar NYC apartment (after being married in George Soros’ mansion).
Has anyone heard mention of any of this in any of the media?

Truth Gun on May 14, 2015 at 8:04 PM

This story is reason 1,295,879 as to why ANYONE in the LSM should be barred as a moderator or questioner for the Republican candidates.

Khun Joe on May 14, 2015 at 8:26 PM

You can bet the crooked little runt has eye on something in the new Clinton administration.

bluesdoc70 on May 14, 2015 at 8:27 PM

Chris Mathews could take his place in the upcoming debates.

newportmike on May 14, 2015 at 8:54 PM

ABC News will NOT take punitive action against Stephanopoulos: “We accept his apology. It was an honest mistake.”

Tom Brady apologizes to The Patriots & they graciously accept. It was an honest mistake.” End of story right?

Scandall on May 14, 2015 at 9:07 PM

Larry Elder calls him George Clintonopolous.

hepcat on May 14, 2015 at 9:21 PM

As the French say, Quel scumbag.

hepcat on May 14, 2015 at 9:23 PM

Truth Gun on May 14, 2015 at 8:04 PM

Nice summary.

LegendHasIt on May 14, 2015 at 9:33 PM

that the book had found no “smoking gun” against the Clinton Foundation

Weed?

Alien on May 14, 2015 at 9:41 PM

I am shocked, simply shocked that a known political hack acted like a …political hack. Why has it taken so long for some to be outraged by this? Did people already forget his treacherous performance in 2012 with Romney and the contraceptives setup, orchestrated by the Democrat Party? Please.

topperj on May 14, 2015 at 10:28 PM

Remember when Olbermann presented a personal check, on air, to Clenis?

aquaviva on May 15, 2015 at 12:15 AM

hepcat on May 14, 2015 at 9:21 PM

I like the one Michael Reagan came up with:

George Steponallofus.

GrumpyOldFart on May 15, 2015 at 8:08 AM

These, cough cough, donations for issues Georgie’s so fond of were nothing more than payments to the Clintoon fiefdom. He got the gig at ABC in order to be there to help out when she ran for president and paid for it with the donations. It’s feudalism redone. Somebody needs to ask ABC where’s the results from all that investigative reporting Georgie claims was done on the book. If he made the claim on their behalf, and nothing was investigated, then they have a big problem.

Kissmygrits on May 15, 2015 at 8:54 AM

No journalist should ever donate to any organization started by a politician. This guy knew what he was doing: tried to conceal his donation. I see no difference between this and what Brian Williams did. Both did their best to conceal what they had or had not done. A journalist has an obligation to demonstrate to me each and every day that nothing he says or does offers support to any political group. Can anyone convince me that a journalist’s personal views can be suppressed when interviewing someone whose politics they do not like? Just look at the interview with the author who claimed that the Clinton Foundation was shady- each remark was a defense of the Clintons. AND he felt compelled to give a min-speech before letting the author even speak.

tullius on May 15, 2015 at 8:58 AM

THIS WHOLE EPISODE STINKS!

No journalist should ever donate to any organization started by a politician. Stephanopoulos knew what he was doing; tried to conceal his donation.

Gee, does this mean that they are forbidden by their profession from pursuing certain interests? Yep. I used to teach, there were many interests and views which I had which I kept to myself. And there were organizations which I thought it was inappropriate for me to support. I never even put a political bumper sticker on my car.

I see no difference between this and what Brian Williams did. Both did their best to conceal what they had or had not done. Both persisted in a concealed lie.

A journalist has an obligation to demonstrate to me each and every day that nothing he says or does offers support to any political group. Can anyone convince me that a journalist’s personal views can be suppressed when interviewing someone whose politics they do not like? Just look at the interview with Clinton Cash author Peter Schweizer who claimed that the Clinton Foundation was shady- each remark made by Stephanopoulos was a defense of the Clintons. AND he felt compelled to give a mini-speech before letting the author even speak.

I just feel that most of these guys are not investigative journalists but front guys for those they favor.

tullius on May 15, 2015 at 9:20 AM

George should recuse himself from journalism
tej on May 14, 2015 at 5:08 PM

Journalism? Is that what he was doing….

Sherman1864 on May 15, 2015 at 11:35 AM

Are journalists not allowed to donate to charity?

what is the issue here, exactly?

everdiso on May 15, 2015 at 11:56 AM

Nice summary Mr. Ed Morrissey. Very nice.

Whenever I think of donating money to causes I first think, now who will spend 6 – 10 % of my donation to these causes most wisely of all, know what I mean?

[Since G.S. is busy talking to important people every single day in every field imaginable you can see how he’s too busy to donate 100% directly.]

bour3 on May 15, 2015 at 12:15 PM

Honest mistake? That requires George to “forget” to mention it for three years in a row every time he talks about a Clinton action, plus he has to “forget” to mention that he’s a long-time Clintonista (even without the donation to their slush fund) when attacking their enemies or any reporter they find objectionable. How many “honest mistakes” is that? Has it come to “strike 12 and you are out”?

Fred 2 on May 15, 2015 at 12:58 PM

Not sure which is more insulting / ridiculous.

George claiming he just wanted to help kids and people with AIDS by donating to Bubba (hardly any of which made it to the announced recipients) or the Patriots saying “The Deflator” was a fat guy who was looking to shed a few pounds.

Sad thing is, 60% will probably believe both.

gwgm on May 15, 2015 at 1:33 PM

ABC news knew who and what George Stephanopoulos was when they hired him. When he was hired it was as a commentator not a “news” reporter. If you want unbiased facts from your news source then you should look for another source rather than ABC “news”.

TheNakedEye on May 15, 2015 at 2:10 PM

This is how modern journalism is. They are ALL looney leftists. Bernie Goldberg wrote a book called, ‘Biased’, in it, he has a story while he was working in the CBS newsroom. It was the Nixon landslide election in 1972. Several news reporters were shocked and dismayed on the outcome. Bernie asked them “WHY?”. Their response, (these are NEWS reporters!!), “I didn’t know of anybody that voted for Nixon!”

If you do NOT see the problem in that response, no help for you.

Glubber on May 15, 2015 at 4:57 PM

Give the little punk a break. He’s just trying to keep his little elevator shoe wearing behind out of Fort Marcy park.

S. D. on May 15, 2015 at 8:08 PM

Are journalists not allowed to donate to charity?

what is the issue here, exactly?

everdiso on May 15, 2015 at 11:56 AM

.
Here :
.

Remember when George Stephanopoulos declared during an interview with Clinton Cash author Peter Schweizer that the book had found no “smoking gun” against the Clinton Foundation and the Clintons themselves? Guess what Stephanopoulos didn’t declare — his own financial contributions to an organization that Sunlight Foundation official Bill Allison said operates like “a slush fund for the Clintons.”

Ed Morrissey on May 14, 2015 at 10:01 AM

.
From bizpacreview.com :
.

Charity Navigator reported that while the Clinton philanthropic foundation took in more than $140 million in donations, less that 7 percent — $9 million — was paid out in direct aid. The rest went to administrative and other expenses, according to the New York Post.

Even without counting salaries for aid workers around the world, the administrative costs are far higher than the 25 percent experts deem acceptable for legitimate charitable organizations to spend on overhead.

The lion’s share of Clinton Foundation donations went to salaries, travel expenses, bonuses and huge payouts to family friends, the Post reported, adding:

“On its 2013 tax forms, the most recent available, the foundation claimed it spent $30 million on payroll and employee benefits; $8.7 million in rent and office expenses; $9.2 million on “conferences, conventions and meetings”; $8 million on fund-raising; and nearly $8.5 million on travel. None of the Clintons are on the payroll, but they do enjoy first-class flights paid for by the Foundation.

In all, the group reported $84.6 million in “functional expenses” on its 2013 tax return and had more than $64 million left over — money the organization has said represents pledges rather than actual cash on hand.”

.
It’s our claim that “Boy George” was fully cognizant of these details, which makes any claim by anyone, that … “George Stephanopoulos was simply contributing to charity … can’t a journalist donate to charity?” … null and void.

listens2glenn on May 15, 2015 at 8:17 PM

ABC’s Clinton Defender-in-Chief

Star Bird on May 15, 2015 at 8:37 PM

(End Detailed Summary Page, FEC FORM 3X)

Generated Fri May 15 20:27:58 2015
**********************************

FEC FORM 3X
REPORT OF RECEIPTS AND DISBURSEMENTS
For Other Than An Authorized Committee
FILING FEC-906240

1. Ready for Hillary
PO Box 7705
McLean, Virginia 22106
2. FEC Committee ID #: C00540997
3. This committee has NOT qualified as a multicandidate committee (see FEC Form 1M)
4. Report Type = YEAR-END
Filed: 01/31/2014
SUMMARY PAGE
DETAILED SUMMARY PAGE
Schedule A Filings (ITEMIZED RECEIPTS)
Schedule B Filings (ITEMIZED DISBURSEMENTS)

http://docquery.fec.gov/cgi-bin/forms/C00540997/906240/

canopfor on May 15, 2015 at 9:06 PM

canopfor on May 15, 2015 at 9:19 PM

What’s the problem? M&M Enterprises gets a cut of everything from everyone that’s anyone.

claudius on May 16, 2015 at 12:16 AM

This is just another distraction to the real issue. The issue is not whether this is criminal or not, or even whether politicians are dishonest or corrupt or that their minions in the media do their bidding. That is just the argument they want us to have to keep us distracted.

Of course what they did was not illegal. Because Congress has made it legal. They have legalized their own immorality and corruption and in the process pulled the wool over our eyes.

What is sad about Stephanopoulos is not that he made these donations and then hid them while he did the Clintons bidding. The truly sad part is nobody in power really thinks there is anything wrong with it and most citizens do not either. Just a handful of bloggers and concerned citizens even think it is an issue.

The first American leader to sell out to a foreign government for his own financial gain was Benedict Arnold and his act was seen as so despicable that we use it to this day to describe a traitor. Today he would be hailed as a hero. That is how far we have moved the center of gravity.

ReformedDeceptiCon on May 16, 2015 at 7:50 AM

The media has morphed this scandal into “So what, Stephie gave money to charity, republicans are so mean!” When in fact he chewed up and spit out a Clinton Critic on the air using his privileged position to do so, when he has a dog in the race.

Fleuries on May 16, 2015 at 9:17 AM

Has his loyalties to the Clintons ever been in doubt? His donations are irrelevant.

TfromV on May 16, 2015 at 9:46 AM

Are journalists not allowed to donate to charity?

everdiso on May 15, 2015 at 11:56 AM

Who is claiming that journalists are not allowed to donate to charity?

Are you responding to a point that no one is making?

Star Bird on May 16, 2015 at 10:37 AM

Are journalists not allowed to donate to charity?

what is the issue here, exactly?

everdiso on May 15, 2015 at 11:56 AM

Straw man. Question for you: Should journalists disclose when they’ve donated a large sum of money to an organization that they are vehemently defending in a TV news interview?

*starts sundial*

fossten on May 18, 2015 at 12:01 PM