With criticism intensifying over George Stephanopoulos’s cozy ties to the Clintons, Clinton Cash author Peter Schweitzer explained why he never looked into the ABC anchor’s donations to the Clinton Foundation: The idea of an a-list reporter committing such a clear conflict-of-interest violation seemed too “over the top” to even consider.
“If a researcher had come to me and said, ‘I’m going to look at the Clinton Foundation database and see if George Stephanopoulos is a contributor,’ I would’ve laughed at him,” Schweitzer told CNN’s Brian Stelter on Sunday. “Because I thought it would be so over the top, that I couldn’t imagine that it took place. So when this came out, I was absolutely dumbfounded.”
Stephanopoulos, a former adviser to Bill Clinton, had his credibility thrown into doubt last week when it was revealed that he’d donated $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation. The news also cast Stephanopoulos’s aggressive interview of Schweitzer earlier this month in a different light, with the author now expressing frustration over the ABC anchor’s obfuscating line of questioning.
“I think it’s incumbent upon [ABC] to allow their audience to hear the evidence that’s in the book,” Schweitzer said, before admitting a follow-up interview is unlikely.
“[ABC managers] seem to be, right now, in cover-up mode,” the author continued. “There’s no discussion about the larger, extensive relationships that he has. He’s been on panels with Chelsea Clinton at Clinton Foundation events. He’s moderated debates and discussions at Clinton Foundation events. How can you do that and cover that same political family in the political season? To me it’s mind-boggling.”
“Are journalists, in general, going to be held to the same standard at networks?” Schweitzer asked. “Or are you going to have superstars that are going to be able to do things that regular reporters are not able to do?”
— Brendan Bordelon is a political reporter for National Review.