George Stephanopoulos Apologizes On-Air: I Made a 'Mistake'

After coming under heavy criticism for donating $75,000 to the foundation of Bill and Hillary Clinton, George Stephanopoulos on Friday made an on-air apology. Addressing the revelation that he failed to inform viewers or his bosses at ABC, Stephanopoulos conceded on Good Morning America, "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." 

The former Bill Clinton operative spun the donations, saying, "Even though I made them strictly to support work done to stop the spread of AIDS, help children and protect the environment in poor countries, I should have gone the extra mile to avoid even the appearance of a conflict." He added, "I apologize to all of you for failing to do that." 

Continuing with the self-serving retelling, the co-host insisted, "I have made substantial donations to dozens of charities, including the Clinton Global Foundation. Those donations were a matter of public record." 
        
Stephanopoulos's claim that he only gave money with the intention of helping is at odds with what he told Jon Stewart on the April 28 Daily Show. Then, when the donations weren't known to the general public, he frankly admitted, "But everybody also knows when those donors give that money, President Clinton or someone, they get a picture with him. There is a hope that is going to lead to something." 

On Thursday, the networks avoided discussing the controversy embroiling Stephanopoulos. In 2009, Stephanopoulos came under fire when it was revealed that he appeared on daily Democratic conference calls with Rahm Emanuel, Paul Begala and James Carville. 

As for the other two networks, CBS This Morning avoided the topic. NBC's Today covered it in a 34 second brief. Natalie Morales explained:  

NATALIE MORALES: ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos is apologizing and pulling out of his role in a planned GOP presidential debate for not disclosing $75,000 in donations he made to the Clinton family's foundation between the 2012 and 2014 years. Stephanopoulos was once a top aide to former President Bill Clinton. The revelations come after Stephanopoulos' recent interview with Peter Schweizer, the author of Clinton Cash. ABC is supporting Stephanopoulos saying, quote, "he has admitted to an honest mistake and apologized for that admission. We stand behind him." 

A transcript of GMA's apology is below: 

GMA
5/15/15
7:18:07

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Now, I want to address some news you may have seen about me. Over the last several years, I have made substantial donations to dozens of charities, including the Clinton Global Foundation. Those donations were a matter of public record. But 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. Even though I made them strictly to support work done to stop the spread of AIDS, help children and protect the environment in poor countries, I 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. Amy? 

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