Just as ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos revealed he made undisclosed donations to the Clinton Foundation and apologized for not revealing the conflict of interest, another big name with presidential aspirations came forward with an admission.
Real estate magnate Donald Trump gave at least $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation while his daughter Ivanka Trump donated between $5,001 and $10,000, the Hill reported.
Unlike Stephanopoulos, who has been a lifelong supporter of the Clintons and once worked as a senior adviser to President Bill Clinton, Trump has criticized Hillary Clinton and her use of the foundation.
“If this were Richard Nixon or a Republican, if this were almost anybody, there would have been an investigation already,” he said during a campaign stop in New Hampshire last month. “This is criminal. What she did was terrible. She used her office to benefit herself and her family and everybody knows it.”
What Trump neglected to mention was his own donations to the foundation. Trump is listed on the Clinton Foundation’s donor page as having given somewhere between $100,001 and $250,000.
“Perhaps the donation shouldn’t be so shocking considering Trump also donated to Hillary Clinton’s New York Senate campaign, before selling himself as conservative firebrand,” the Daily Caller reported.
Meanwhile, Stephanopoulos’s revelation leaves a bitter pill in the mouths of Republicans. He was the ABC News moderator who hammered Republican candidate Mitt Romney in the 2012 debates.
Stephanopoulos issued the following apology Thursday:
“I made charitable donations to the Foundation in support of the work they’re doing on global AIDS prevention and deforestation, a cause I care about deeply. I thought that my contributions were all 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.”
Media Lite television columnist John Concha wrote an op-ed Thursday saying the apology is not enough. He said Stephanopoulos “needs to remove himself from ABC’s This Week on Sunday mornings.”
“George Stephanopoulos needs to remove himself from ABC’s This Week on Sunday mornings immediately. And if he won’t do it himself, ABC News management — starting with ABC president James Goldston — needs to do it for him.
“Why? Because Stephanopoulos, a former senior advisor to President Bill Clinton, apologized today for not disclosing $50,000 in contributions to the Clinton Foundation.
“We talk about optics in this space regularly, and when ABC News’ chief anchor and host of its Sunday morning political talk show donates to the likely Democratic nominee’s charitable foundation and doesn’t reveal that fact before every interview he does with anyone seen as an enemy or competitor of the Clintons, it’s hiding in clear sight an obvious conflict of interest.”
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., became the first GOP candidate to suggest ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos recuse himself from moderating debates after the revelation that Stephanopoulos had contributed to the Clinton Foundation without disclosing it.
“It’s impossible to divorce yourself from that, even if you try,” Paul told the New York Times Thursday. “I just think it’s really, really hard because he’s been there, so close to them, that there would be a conflict of interest if he tried to be a moderator of any sort.”
One Republican lawmaker’s press team has already decided to withdraw him from any future appearances.
“I’m not letting my boss go on ABC until Stephanopoulos recuses himself from all 2016 coverage,” tweeted Conn Caroll, communications director for Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT).
The Clinton Foundation has come under fire for failing to publicly disclose certain foreign donors. A new book authored by Peter Schweizer also alleges Clinton used her power as Secretary of State to channel money into her organization while promising favors.