For whatever reason, according to CNN, a Clinton Foundation error dipped Jake Tapper in the George Stephanopoulos grease by listing the respected CNN anchor as a “speaker” for an upcoming Foundation event scheduled in early June. Apparently, inquiries from USA Today resulted in the Foundation scrubbing the notice entirely sometime this week — which only compounded the problem. A subsequent USA Today piece, written by Kelsy Rupp and David Mastio, went pretty hard at Tapper but left some questions hanging.
Breitbart News took those questions directly to a CNN spokesperson, who spoke to us at length.
According to CNN, prior to the Stephanopoulos scandal breaking, with Tapper in mind, the cable news network reached out to the Clinton Foundation to arrange for an exclusive interview with former-President Bill Clinton.
The interview will take place at the Foundation but no questions or inquiries will be off-limits.
The Clinton Foundation listing Tapper as an event speaker was a mistake on the Foundation’s part, CNN told us. In fact, connecting Tapper to the event in any way was premature. According to CNN, nothing other than the interview (which will take place in Denver in early June ) is finalized.
What is still up in the air is having Tapper moderate a Foundation panel on business investment. This would in fact be a Clinton Foundation event, not a CNN event. There are no plans for CNN to televise the panel.
My guess is that the Stephanopoulos mess makes Tapper’s participation in the panel less likely.
The USA Today column took issue with the fact that the Clinton Foundation immediately scrubbed the Tapper notice after their inquiry. According to CNN, though, a request was made for an accurate correction, not that the announcement be taken down. CNN told us that just today the Foundation again published another announcement that inaccurately depicted Tapper’s role, and that they have again asked for a correction.
There are a number of important distinctions between Tapper and Stephanopoulos. 1) Tapper has not donated any money to the Clinton Foundation. 2) Clinton Foundation events involving Stephanopoulos were exclusive Clinton Foundation events. 3) CNN and Tapper are looking to arrange a no-holds-barred interview with a former-president whose wife is running for president. Stephanopoulos, on the other hand, was using his celebrity and status to benefit the Clinton Foundation. 4) Stephanopoulos hid his involvement with the Foundation. Obviously, CNN and Tapper intended to play up the interview in a big way.
Another important distinction is reputation. Even before we learned of Stephanopoulos covering up his time and money investments in the Clinton Foundation, for too many reasons to count, he was not considered trustworthy or objective. After years as one of the top reporters and anchors in Washington DC, Tapper remains one of the few seen by the political right (and left) as an honest broker.
Are we to believe Tapper suddenly decided to throw his hard-earned integrity out the window just so he could shill for the Clintons?
To what end?
If anything, Tapper’s tenacity has put him in a unique position. Considering all the media-dodging going on in ClintonLand, it seems fair to assume Bill Clinton would not have agreed to this interview post-Stephanopoulos. The Clinton Foundation could still pull out, but the ensuing publicity would look awful.
As a result, Tapper is now in a position to grill the founder of the very institution embroiled in a scandal that may very well define the 2016 presidential election.
Breitbart News reached out to the Clinton Foundation. We have not yet heard back.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC