George Stephanopoulos, the ABC News chief anchor, has apologized for his oversight in not disclosing his donations to the Clinton Foundation, and has stepped down from moderating ABC’s Republican primary debate.

George Stephanopoulos On Clinton Foundation Donations

In 2012, 2013 and 2014, Stephanopoulos donated $25,000 to the Clinton Foundation, making the total of his contributions $75,000. Stephanopoulos stands by the reasons for which he donated to the Clinton Foundation, but admits that it was probably something he should not have done considering his position. He also apologized for not formally revealing his donations to ABC or to his viewers, especially in light of his recent coverage of the nonprofit organization.

“I made charitable donations to the Foundation in support of the work they’re doing on global AIDS prevention and deforestation, causes I care about deeply,” Stephanopoulos told Politico. “I thought that my contributions were 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.”

Prior to the donation scandal, Stephanopoulos was set to host ABC’s GOP debate, which will take place in New Hampshire in February of next year. Sen. Rand Paul voiced his opinion on Thursday that Stephanopoulos’s donation to a foundation run by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her former president husband Bill Clinton should be disallowed from moderating the political event. Stephanopoulos has decided to cede to his critics and will not serve as the moderator.

“I won’t moderate that debate,” Stephanopoulos told Politico. “I think I’ve shown that I can moderate debates fairly. That said, I know there have been questions made about moderating debates this year. I want to be sure I don’t deprive viewers of a good debate.”

Despite the controversy, ABC stands firmly behind Stephanopoulos, who hosts This Week and is a co-anchor for Good Morning America on the network.

“As George has said, he made charitable donations to the Foundation to support a cause he cares about deeply and believed his contributions were a matter of public record,” the network’s statement read. “He should have taken the extra step to notify us and our viewers during the recent news reports about the Foundation. He’s admitted to an honest mistake and apologized for that omission. We stand behind him.”

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