Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Three Cups of Tea Author Offers Mea Culpa on Today Show

Posted By on Tue, Jan 21, 2014 at 9:17 AM

Famed Three Cups of Tea author Greg Mortenson finally conceded this morning on national television that he had "let a lot of people down."

The Montana-based Mortenson made several fund-raising trips to Idaho and cities across the globe to talk about his charitable organization. But an investigation, which was triggered by a CBS' 60 Minutes investigation, revealed that Mortenson's nonprofit had bought and promoted Mortenson's books and spent nearly $2 million to fly him on chartered jets, all without the charity receiving any royalties or any other direct benefits. The report also said unknown sums of money were wired overseas without receipts or supporting documentation and that Mortenson had charged the charity's credit cards for tens of thousands of dollars worth of personal items.

But nearly two years after the controversy first surfaced, Mortenson appeared this morning on NBC's Today Show to talk to reporter Tom Brokaw and, in hushed tones, say that he was under "tremendous pressure" to edit Three Cups of Tea and that the stories did not necessarily happen "in the sequence or the timing."

“I always have operated from my heart. I'm not a really head person. And I really didn't factor in the very important things of accountability, transparency,” Mortenson told Brokaw. “I'd also like to apologize to everybody. I let a lot of people down. There were alarms, Tom. I didn't listen to them."

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