ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos was caught on camera making a throat-slash gesture as the Disney-owned network cut away from President Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow taking questions from the press on Thursday during coverage of the Senate impeachment trial.
Stephanopoulos, a former President Clinton staffer, was presumably signaling to producers to scrap Sekulow’s thoughts on the impeachment trial. ABC aired a few minutes of Sekulow updating reporters on his plans. After explaining that Trump’s legal team will call witnesses who don’t think alleged actions are impeachable, the camera cut back to Stephanopoulos, who was making the throat-slash gesture.
Stephanopoulos then smirked, appearing to realize his gesture was caught on live television.
“And that is Jay Sekulow right there,” Stephanopoulos told viewers before quickly moving along to a panel discussion.
Before he was cut off, Sekulow told reporters that Trump’s legal team planned to prove two different outlooks on impeachment that would both result in Trump remaining in office.
“We’ve got lawyers that are going to be put forward when our side of the case goes, that represents multiple schools of thought on what is and what is not an impeachable offense,” he said. “But they have one thing in common, that the actions alleged and the actions of the president do not reach that level. No matter what school of thought you’re on… our position is, you still have to meet basic, fundamental constitutional obligations and they haven’t.”
Before pivoting to a career as a news anchor, Stephanopoulos worked for Bill Clinton in a variety of roles, eventually becoming a senior aide. His ties to Clinton also became a source of embarrassment to ABC during the presidential campaign, when he was caught secretly giving money to the Clinton Foundation. He had to recuse himself from hosting any presidential debates.