'Clinton Cash' Author: 'Let's Do Another Interview on the Sunday Morning Show'

Susan Jones | May 15, 2015 | 7:09am EDT
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ABC News anchor and host of "This Week" George Stephanopoulos. (AP File Photo)

(CNSNews.com) - George Stephanopoulos, host of ABC's Sunday political talk show "This Week" and anchor of "Good Morning America," says he thought his $75,000 contribution to the Clinton Foundation was a matter of public record, and he now agrees that "in hindsight, I should have taken the extra step of personally disclosing my donations" to both ABC News and its viewers -- even as he grilled Peter Schweizer, the author of "Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich."

Schweizer, appearing on Fox News's "Hannity" Thursday night, says he wants a do-over:

"Well, I think what ABC could do is, let's do another interview on the Sunday morning show to talk about the contents of the book, so we actually get a chance for viewers to hear what is in the book. That's the first thing that I would ask."

Schweizer said going into his April 26 interview with "This Week," he assumed that Stephanopoulos' relationship with the Clintons was in the past -- "that he had made this transition into the media and it was a different chapter in his life."

Stephanopoulos was one of President Bill Clinton's chief campaigners and closest White House aides. And now, with Hillary running for president, his donation to the Clinton Foundation "raises all kinds of questions," Schweizer said:

"I mean, you have the fact that he's a donor. You have the fact now it's coming out that he has participated in Clinton Global Initiative events as a panelist, as a speaker multiple times. And it raises this question just about the coziness. I mean, you've got the finances. You've got these -- these meetings that he's attending. How you can expect to be objective, you know, is really highly questionable in that kind of environment."

Schweizer noted there would be "serious consequences" if such a cozy connection were discovered between any other reporter and political candidate. But ABC News reportedly does not plan to reprimand Stephanopoulos.

"I think this is an issue that kind of goes to the issue of trust in the media," Schweizer told Sean Hannity. You know, if you're embellishing stories (as NBC's Brian Williams did), obviously, that's a trust issue. But this is a very, very important one because you're talking about interviewing an author who's written a book that is critical and raises lots of questions about the Clinton Foundation. You're giving money to them, and you don't expose that and explain that to the public. I mean, the argument that he thought it was public and people would know about, you know, is ridiculous!"

In his April 26 interview with Schweizer, Stephanopoulos repeatedly questioned the accuracy of "Clinton Cash," insisted that there was no evidence of criminality on the part of the Clintons, and suggested that Schweizer was conducting a partisan attack:

"They say you used to work for President Bush as a speech writer. You are funded by the Koch brothers," Stephanopoulos told Schweizer.

Schweizer told Hannity on Thursday, "It was public that I was a speech writer for George Bush for three months, but he felt it was important to mention it, and rightfully so, but he doesn't disclose his conflict. It just doesn't make any sense."

According to AP, Stephanopoulos gave three donations of $25,000 each to the Clinton Foundation in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

Stephanopoulos apologized quickly, in person, on Friday's "Good Morning America."

"Now I want to address some things you may have seen about me. Over the last several years, I've 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 belive that 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."

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