Matt Lauer was not a member of Clinton Global Initiative, insiders say

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Joint Candidate Event To Be Moderated By Matt Lauer

Matt Lauer is facing criticism for agreeing to moderate an upcoming town hall with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, despite a reported conflict of interest as a former member of the Clinton Global Initiative, but NBC insiders say that's not true.

The insiders told TheWrap that Lauer's only association with the CGI was a "Today" show interview with Bill Clinton that happened to take place at an Initiative event.

Last year, Mediaite reported that several prominent media members were listed among "notable past members" of the CGI. Maria Bartiromo, Tom Brokaw, Anderson Cooper, Greta Van Susteren and George Stephanopoulos joined Lauer on the list. The Clinton Foundation website notes that membership costs $20,000 per year but is sometimes complementary, which would clearly be an issue if true in Lauer's case.

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Matt Lauer out and about
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 24: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Matt Lauer hosts an exclusive guest DJ session on SiriusXM's Classic Vinyl channel to celebrate the launch of TODAY Show Radio on SiriusXM on June 24, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Tamron Hall, Natalie Morales, Savannah Guthrie, Matt Lauer and Al Roker appear on NBC News' 'Today' show on June 13, 2014 -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- (l-r) Matt Lauer sits down with Pippa Middleton in her first-ever television interview -- (Photo by: Anthony Harvey/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Dave Chappelle and Matt Lauer appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Tamron Hall, Savannah Guthrie, Matt Lauer and Al Roker appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC News Wire)
Matt Lauer appears on NBC's "Today" show on Friday, June14, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
Matt Lauer dances during a performance by Psy on NBC's "Today" show on Friday, May 3, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
TODAY -- Pictured: Matt Lauer appears on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC News Wire)
Matt Lauer, co-host of the NBC "Today" television program, appears with fellow co-host Savannah Guthrie during a segment of the show in New York's Rockefeller Center, Friday, March 29, 2013. A top NBC News executive said Wednesday the network is not considering replacing Matt Lauer as anchor of the "Today" show despite reports that Anderson Cooper of CNN was approached about the job. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Matt Lauer, left, and Savannah Guthrie play skeeball during a promotional segment for the animated film "Turbo" on NBC's "Today" show on Tuesday, July 9, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
Television host Matt Lauer skis on a pair of roller skis during a taping of the NBC Today NBC's Today Show Celebrates 100 Days To Sochi Olympics at on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Brad Barket/Invision/AP)
Matt Lauer arrives at the Elton John AIDS Foundation's 12th Annual "An Enduring Vision" benefit gala at Cipriani Wall Street on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Invision/AP)
Hosts Savannah Guthrie, left, Matt Lauer, center, and Carson Daly attend a taping of the NBC Today NBC's Today Show Celebrates 100 Days To Sochi Olympics on Tuesday, Oct. 29, 2013 in New York. (Photo by Brad Barket/Invision/AP)
Matt Lauer appears on NBC's "Today" show on Friday, June 20, 2014 in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
NBC Today Show hosts Andrea Mitchell, Carson Daly, Natalie Morales, Al Roker, Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie attend the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner at the Washington Hilton Hotel, Saturday, May 3, 2014, in Washington. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
In this Monday, March 10, 2014 photo provided by NBC News, Matt Lauer, right, talks with Dottie Sandusky, wife of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, during an interview that aired on NBC's "Today" show on Wednesday, March 12, 2014. Sandusky said she "definitely" believes her husband is innocent despite being convicted of sexually abusing 10 boys and that the victims' financial gain was at play. (AP Photo/NBC News)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 22: Journalist Matt Lauer and singer Celine Dion pose for a photo during on NBC's 'Today' at Rockefeller Plaza on July 22, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 12: (BROADCAST - OUT) Host, Matt Lauer speaks with swimmer, Ryan Lochte of the United States on the Today show set on Copacabana Beach on August 12, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Matt Iseman, Akbar Gbajabiamila appear on June 14, 2016 -- (Photo By: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Carson Daly, Natalie Morales, Al Roker, Savannah Guthrie, Matt Lauer, Maddie Baillio, Harvey Fierstein on the 'Today' show on Tuesday, June 7 2016 from Rockefeller Plaza in New York -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC News Wire)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 16: Journalists Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie attend the 2016 NBCUNIVERSAL Upfront at Radio City Music Hall on May 16, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 27: Matt Lauer is seen on April 27, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Patricia Schlein/Star Max/GC Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0459 -- Pictured: Journalist Matt Lauer arrives on April 27, 2016 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 29: Matt Lauer at NBC's 'Today' at Rockefeller Plaza on April 29, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26: Caitlyn Jenner and Matt Lauer attend the 2016 Time 100 Gala, Time's Most Influential People In The World at Jazz At Lincoln Center at the Time Warner Center on April 26, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Time)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2016/04/07: Matt Lauer attends New York City Police Foundation gala at Waldorf Astoria. (Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Natalie Morales, Savannah Guthrie, Matt Lauer and Al Roker appear on the 'Today' show on Monday, March 14, 2016 from Rockefeller Plaza in New York -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 14: NBC 'Today Show' hosts Savannah Guthrie and Matt Lauer interview Chris Martin when Coldplay perform in the rain on NBC's 'Today Show' at Rockefeller Plaza on March 14, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Al Pereira/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 21: (R-L) Savannah Guthrie and Matt Lauer interview 2016 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during NBC's Today Trump Town Hall at Rockefeller Plaza on April 21, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Matt Lauer and Jordan Spieth appear on the 'Today' show on Monday, March 14, 2016 from Rockefeller Plaza in New York -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Matt Lauer and Jennifer Lopez appear on the 'Today' show on Tuesday, March 1, 2016 -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Pictured (l-r): Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 18: Jack Matthew Lauer, Romy Lauer and Matt Lauer attend The Philadelphia 76ers vs New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden on January 18, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 10: TV personalities Willie Geist, Natalie Morales, Tamron Hall, Savannah Guthrie and Matt Lauer attend the 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 10, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)
TV personalities Al Roker (L) and Matt Lauer arrive, at the 73nd annual Golden Globe Awards, January 10, 2016, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. AFP PHOTO / VALERIE MACON / AFP / VALERIE MACON (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 04: Matt Lauer is seen in 'Midtown'on January 4, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
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One insider noted that the page mentioning the "Today" show host has been removed from the Clinton Foundation website.

Conservative pundits have pointed to this as an example of media bias or conflict of interest, but the Clinton Foundation said that journalists who participate in CGI events are not asked to pay a membership fee, according to Mediaite. Between that and the fact that Lauer was evidently never officially involved, it seems that the NBC personality is in the clear.

In addition, Trump was under no obligation to accept his invite to the Commander-in-Chief Forum and it should be noted that the GOP nominee appears regularly on Van Susteren's show. Trump has said he won't participate in a presidential debate if the moderators aren't fair, so it's safe to assume that he looked into Lauer's past before agreeing to the town hall.

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to TheWrap's request for comment. NBC News declined to comment.

Trump and Clinton will appear together in the first joint event of the 2016 general election to take questions on national security, military affairs and veterans' issues from a live audience comprised of service members and veterans on Wednesday, Sept. 7 at 8 p.m. ET on both NBC and MSNBC. The event will be held at New York's Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum.

Read original story Matt Lauer Was Not a Member of Clinton Global Initiative, Insiders Say At TheWrap

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