ABC's George Stephanopoulos Denies Having Conference Calls with White House Staff

March 4th, 2009 10:32 PM

I met up with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos at the National Capital chapter of the Society of Financial Service Professionals’ Annual Professional Night this evening and asked if he had strategy session conference calls with aides in the White House as reported by Politico’s John F. Harris

 Politico's Michael Calderone recently reported that Kerry Smith, ABC News Sr.VP for editorial quality, wrote  that Stephanopoulos "speaks to Mr. Emanuel, a friend he has known for nearly two decades, as a source, just as he speaks to countless sources across the political spectrum each and every day. That is his job as an anchor and reporter and one that he does according to the highest standards."

Stephanopoulos seemed adamant that the conference calls between himself and White House aides have never happened. The video transcript of the exchange is below. Video

STEPHANOPOULOS: There are no strategy sessions at the White House.  None at all. Never had one.  Not once.

PICKET: So you haven’t called up Mr. Emanuel or Mr. Begala?

STEPHANOPOULOS: No conference calls never--not once...ever.

Stephanopoulos could very well be playing with semantics, but even his casual communications, as clarified by ABC's Smith, with high ranking White House personnel is not something one should feel comfortable with. So what's really going on here? From the side of the aisle that wants a truth commission and transparency in government, this is neither truthful nor transparent.

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