Just as he did when author Peter Schwizer leveled serious accusations of pay-to-play schemes by the Clinton Foundation and then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, George Stephanopoulos moonlighted as Clinton operative again on today’s episode of “This Week.”
Clinton rival Martin O’Malley appeared and attacked Hillary’s record and positions.
“We are now back with Martin O’Malley running third behind Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders in our new ABC News/Washington Post poll. Gov. O’Malley, thank you for joining us,” the host said.
Seemingly trying to belittle the candidate’s standing, Stephanopoulous said, “Even though your poll numbers have stalled, you’re still striking out pretty hard against Secretary Clinton. Yesterday in South Carolina you said she’s demonstrated a total inability to understand what happens when dictators fall and what our country needs in its national security strategy.
“Total inability?” the host said, seemingly flabbergasted anyone could possibly question his former boss.
“Yes, George. Secretary Clinton voted for the Iraq war and not withstanding, what she now regards as a big mistake in that vote and one that she should have known better.
“Can you point to one instance in our foreign policy where as secretary of state, Secretary Clinton had an understanding of what was coming after the toppling of the dictator.”
After O’Malley continued to criticize Clinton’s record, Stephanopoulos cut him off and said, “Let’s dig down on that. How would yours be different? She’s called for an intelligence surge. She’s called for a greater cyber efforts against ISIS. She’s also said she does not want ground troops, more American ground troops in the region. How would you be different?”
Stephanopoulos repeatedly defended Clinton, at one pointing demanding to know three things that O’Malley would do that “Secretary Clinton would not do.”
After hearing an answer that apparently dissatisfied him, Stephanopoulos went back to O’Malley’s poll numbers.
“So far, nothing you’re doing or saying is moving your poll numbers. The Washington Post had a headline saying your presidential campaign is perilously close to financial collapse. Are you certain you’re going to stay in through Iowa?”
O’Malley said he “absolutely” will.
It’s not the first time Stephanopoulos has defended Hillary from criticism.
Last April, the host “repeatedly badgered” “Clinton Cash” author Peter Schwizer.
NewsBusters reported at the time:
During the heated discussion, Stephanopoulos hyped how Democrats accuse Schweizer of having a “partisan interest. They say you used to work for President Bush as a speech writer. You are funded by the Koch brothers.”
Stephanopoulos never appeared interested in the actual substance of Schweizer’s book, which alleges the Clinton Foundation took in millions of dollars in donations in exchange for potential influence with the U.S. government and instead acted as a Clinton defender.
Then, Stephanopoulos was forced to apologize in May and acknowledge he had given $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation in recent years.
“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,” he said, according to 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.”
Will O’Malley remand Stephanopoulos atone for his overt attempts at defending his former boss in the face of serious attacks?