CNN suspends pro-Trump commentator after sexual misconduct allegations surface
CNN announced late Wednesday that it is suspending a pro-Trump commentator and former surrogate for President Trump’s campaign after a Washington Post story revealed he was fired from Arizona State University (ASU) four years ago for alleged sexual misconduct.
CNN said in a statement that it was suspending Paris Dennard, who is a CNN political commentator and an opinion contributor to The Hill.
“We are aware of reports of accusations against Paris Dennard,” a spokeswoman said, per CNN. “We are suspending Paris, effective immediately, while we look into the allegations.”
The Post reported Wednesday that ASU found that Dennard made sexually explicit comments and gestures toward women. A 2014 university report stated that Dennard claimed his behavior was intended as a joke, the newspaper added.
Dennard told the Post that he believed the allegations “to be false.”
“I cannot comment on items I have never seen regarding allegations I still believe to be false,” he said. “This is sadly another politically motivated attempt to besmirch my character, and shame me into silence for my support of President Trump and the GOP.”
Earlier this week, Trump called Dennard “wonderful” in a tweet after Dennard debated CNN’s Phil Mudd.
“Just watched former Intelligence Official Phillip Mudd become totally unglued and weird while debating wonderful @PARISDENNARD over Brennan’s Security Clearance. Dennard destroyed him but Mudd is in no mental condition to have such a Clearance. Should be REVOKED? @seanhannity,” Trump wrote.
The Hill will not be accepting opinion submissions from Dennard while the investigation is ongoing.
Updated at 9:37 a.m.