Greek-American ABC News journalist George Stephanopoulos is the first U.S. broadcaster to have a sit-down with Russian president Vladimir Putin in the run-up to next month’s Winter Olympics in Sochi.
The host of “Good Morning America” and “This Week” have been trying for a long time now in collaboration with ABC, to secure an interview with the Russian president. It is noted that Stephanopoulos is the first American TV journalist to interview Putin in almost a decade.
On Friday morning, the Greek-American broadcaster revealed more information about his conversation with the Russian head-of-state, mentioning that the two men went over the issues of terror threats and the country’s controversial anti-gay laws, while even talking about NSA leaker Edward Snowden.
“Putin was very confident that the terrorists are not going to succeed in striking here. He was also dismissive of allegations of corruption here and absolutely defiant when it came to the issue of gay rights and the international protests, including in the United States, against the anti-gay propaganda law here in Russia right now,” Stephanopoulos explained.
The ABC network managed with this interview, to beat rival network NBC, who is televising the Olympics in the U.S. and has openly stated that it is seeking to interview Putin during the Sochi Winter Olympics. Last week, NBC’s main Olympic host, Greek-American sportscaster Bob Costas said, “if Putin doesn’t drag his butt into the studio, then we’ll talk about it without him.”
“But if he shows up, we’d rather talk to him,” Costas added. “Wouldn’t you rather hear it from the horse’s mouth? I would.”