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Former RNC Chair Wants Stephanopoulos Off Campaign Trail

Republican Growth PAC chairman Jim Gilmore, former governor of Virginia, has called on ABC News to scrub Good Morning America and This Week anchor George Stephanopoulos from its 2016 coverage of the presidential campaign based on his relationship to the Clinton Foundation and its relationship to presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Gilmore, who is former chairman of the Republican National Committee, cited reports that Stephanopoulos had contributed to the foundation, in addition to participating in fundraisers and other events. Stephanopoulos is former senior advisor to President Bill Clinton.

"With public opinion in our institutions at or near all-time lows, the last thing the 2016 Presidential campaign needs is the anchor of one of the three networks performing dual duty as advocate and supporter of the likely nominee of one party while claiming to serve as a fair referee for the contest," said Gilmore. Stephanopoulos apologized on Good Morning America Friday for not having gone the "extra mile" to avoid "even the appearance of conflict" and disclosed on-air his contributions to the Clinton Global Fund when reporting about the fund.

He said he had made numerous "substantial" donations to various charities, including the fund, that were matters of public record, but also said it had been a mistake to direct personal donations to the fund, even though they were made to stop the spread of AIDS, help children and protect the environment.

Among the on-air reporting Stephanopoulos did on the issue without disclosing his contributions was an interview with author Peter Schweizer about his book, Clinton Cash, about contributions to the fund. Stephanopoulos pressed him on his suggestion there should be a criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton whether fund donations impacted her decisions as Secretary of State.

ABC News had not returned requests for comment at press time.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.