Lee: I Won’t Go on ABC, Stephanopoulos Not ‘A Neutral Arbitrator’

Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), who had one of his staff say he would not appear on ABC until George Stephanopoulos recuses himself from 2016 coverage, declared that Stephanopoulos is “not in a position of being a neutral arbitrator of the facts” on Thursday’s “Hannity” on the Fox News Channel.

Lee said, “Look, the fact is, that we have the wealthy and the well-connected who are controlling the dialogue. And here you have George Stephanopoulos. Now, I want to make clear. I think he’s very interesting to watch, I’ve enjoyed doing interviews with him in the past, and I find him very professional in many ways. But the fact is, Sean, he got his start with the Clintons, a couple decades ago, in a prominent way. And the fact also is, that he has donated to the Clinton Foundation, $25,000 a year, each year, for the last three years in a row, a total of $75,000. And then finally, he caps it off by interviewing Peter Schweizer, the author of ‘Clinton Cash,’ and going after him, really quite aggressively and he does so, notwithstanding the fact that he’s pretty openly a Clinton partisan. He’s somebody who has helped the Clinton Foundation. He’s not in a position of being a neutral arbitrator of the facts, and so I do think this is a concern. And I do think that he shouldn’t be presenting himself to the world as a neutral arbiter of the facts in the presidential election cycle for 2016.”

He added, “I think it certainly has the potential to call into question ABC’s ability to be objective. Look, the thought that kept coming to my mind when I watched that interview between George Stephanopoulos and Peter Schweizer was cross-examination. I felt like Mr. Schweizer was undergoing an aggressive, rigorous, cross-examination, not by someone who was just trying to get to the truth, but by someone who was trying to shoot down everything he could. And in fact, it was interesting Sean, he repeatedly referred to Mr Schweizer’s political connections.”

Lee was also asked if he thought the interview was coordinated with the Clintons, he answered, “I can’t prove that that’s what happened, but it’s certainly consistent with what could have happened. And the fact that he has this background with the Clintons, that he’s donated $75,000 to the Clinton campaign, and the fact that didn’t disclose it until very recently, all certainly adds some suspicion to this.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett