George Stephanopoulos, a friend of Hillary Clinton and a man who secretly donated $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation, interviewed the Democratic candidate on Monday for Good Morning America. He never mentioned his conflicts of interest, instead focusing only on horse race issues.
In his book All Too Human, Stephanopoulos recounted saying to Mrs. Clinton, “I love you.” On GMA, Stephanopoulos questioned, “Don’t you have to win your home state here in New York in two weeks?” Showing the affection was still there, the candidate reminisced, “I have been through this before. You and I were laughing before we started. I can remember how hard it was when my husband ran in ‘92.”
Stephanopoulos, of course, worked on Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign and then in the Democrat's White House.
Apparently, the GMA host’s decision to not provide a disclaimer about his secret donations to the Clinton Foundation is now permanent. On January 13, 2016, he interviewed Clinton and didn’t mention the contributions that he initially kept quiet from his employer and viewers. On that day, he asked the ex-Secretary of State if she bought a Powerball ticket.
Back on December 6, 2015, Stephanopoulos talked to Mrs. Clinton for This Week. He offered this skimpy disclaimer: “[A] reminder for everyone watching, I worked for President Clinton, made charitable contributions in the past to the Clinton Foundation.”
On May 15, 2015, Stephanopoulos apologized for his donations, allowing, “I should have made additional disclosures on air when we covered the foundation and I now believe directing personal donations to that foundation was a mistake."
Stephanopoulos on Monday also avoided any discussion of the e-mail scandal. In contrast, Meet the Press host Chuck Todd on Sunday grilled Clinton on the private server: “This issue of secrecy, or the accusation that you’re secretive, has followed you for quite some time. Is there any way you can at least convince Wisconsin voters that that’s not the case?”
Todd also demanded to know “when or if an unborn child” has “constitutional rights.” Unsurprisingly, Stephanopoulos also skipped abortion.
Instead, the ABC host offered up process questions, such as “[Are] you and Bernie Sanders going to debate in New York?” Despite this, Amy Robach teased the segment, hyping "our candid interview with the Democratic front-runner right here on GMA."
A transcript is below:
5 minutes and 41 seconds
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: We’re going to go now to my interview Hillary Clinton. She's under pressure from Bernie Sanders before tomorrow's big vote in Wisconsin and we met up with Brooklyn where Clinton was campaigning in several churches. Thank you. Madame Secretary, thank you for joining us.
CLINTON: I’m glad to be here with you.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So, Bernie Sanders is on a winning streak, won five out of the last six. Wisconsin, he's ahead right now. Why can't you put him away?
HILLARY CLINTON: Well, first of all, I'm really happy about where I'm at, because if you look at two of the most important indicators, which will really decide this. If you look at the number of pledged delegates, I'm significantly ahead. And after all, that's what determines the outcome. If you look at the popular vote, I have close to nine million votes that's a million more than Donald Trump and two and a half million more than Senator Sanders. So, I feel like we're really on a good path. It's an exciting time in American politics, because I think people are really a really tuning in and trying to figure out what we're going to do and I think what I have said is we need to elect somebody based on three tests. Can you do things that are actually going to improve people's lives? Get results, in other words? Can you be the commander in chief and keep us safe at home and strong around the world? Can you unify us? Which we're desperately in need of given some of the rhetoric in this campaign.
STEPHANOPOULOS: That has been your message so far.
STEPHANOPOULOS: It’s worked as you’ve said. But he's on this winning streak. Don't you have to win your home state here in New York in two weeks?
CLINTON: I'm going to do everything I can to win in as many places as possible. But I have been through this before. You and I were laughing before we started, I can remember how hard it was when my husband ran in ‘92. I ran a really tough campaign against then-Senator Obama. I ended up with slightly more votes. But he ended up with slightly more delegates. So, we have a system and I'm very confident I will be the nominee. But I'm not taking anything or any place or anyone for granted.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Even if you don't win New York?
CLINTON: Oh, I’m absolutely confident that I’ll be the nominee. Now, I’m going to do everything I can to win New York. I represented New York for eight years. I care deeply about this state. I'm proud of the work that I did with so many thousands of New Yorkers. So, of course, I'm going to work incredibly hard.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You know, in Milwaukee on Saturday night, you talked the fact that you're a loyal, true Democrat. Always have been a Democrat. Clearly a shot at Bernie Sanders. When I asked him about that, he said the fact that he's an independent is a strength in the general election campaign, because he can bring independents into the party and he points out that in a lot of the polls right now, he actually does better than you in the general election.
CLINTON: Well there are a lot of polls that say just the opposite. But polls this far out don't mean anything. I think what's important is not what somebody's theory is but how many votes have you gotten. That's what we determine elections based on. And I also believe it's important that we elect more Democrats. I would love to see the Senate go back to being Democratic instead of having Republicans who won't do their constitutional obligation.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You don’t think he can do that?
CLINTON: Well, there's no indication that there's any interest there. I'm committed to electing Democrats. I’m committed to raising money. I'm already helping to fund Democratic campaigns. Because at the end of the day, a president can do a lot and I have a very robust agenda with big goals for our country. And I think I got a track record of proven results. But I think it will be better for the country if we move away from the obstructionism, the extreme partisanship that we're seeing in the Senate today. And we get back to people who want to work together and who want to follow the Constitution, which right now doesn't seem to be the case.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You're hitting Donald Trump pretty hard. Your first ad here in New York against Donald Trump. Are you worried at all this goes to a contested convention on the Republican side and they pick somebody else, a fresh face, who might be a more difficult challenge in the general election?
CLINTON: You know, George, I had that experience, too. You know, I started running out for the Senate in New York against Rudy Giuliani. He dropped out and then I had someone else who was a fresher face to run against. I have no control over what the Republicans decide to do. But I do think it is important, even though I'm working hard to win the nomination and compete with Senator Sanders everywhere, it's important not to let the kind of comments we're hearing not just from Donald Trump but from the other Republican contenders go unanswered, because the world hears those. A lot of people in our country hear insulting comments about immigrants being called rapists and criminals, religiously profiling Muslim communities and they wonder what is happening in our country. So, while I'm focused on the primary and getting the number of delegates necessary to be the nominee, I'm going to keep standing up to Donald Trump, Ted Cruz or anybody else who are saying things that are so contrary to who we are. That gets to my last test, can you want to unify the country or do you want to divide use even more than we already are?
STEPHANOPOULOS: You and Bernie Sanders are going to debate in New York?
CLINTON: I'm hoping to, we offered dates which they refused. You offered — GMA offered a debate during GMA on Friday the 15th. I'll be there. I think it's great opportunity to reach an audience that may not be able to because of other obligations to tune in to debates. I understand there's a debate in the works for the night of the 14th. I'll be there. I want to debate and I'm confident that we can work out a time to do that.