Trump praised White House defender who was fired for sexual harassment: report
A former Trump campaign surrogate and current member of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships was fired from Arizona State University four years ago for sexual misconduct, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post.
Paris Dennard, who is an opinion contributor to The Hill and a CNN political commentator, was found by the university to have made sexually explicit comments and gestures toward women, the Post first reported Wednesday.
The 2014 university report concluded that Dennard did deny the women’s claims of inappropriate behavior, instead saying that his behavior was intended as a joke. According to the Post, the investigation began after two female ASU employees told superiors that Dennard had made them uncomfortable and that his actions had gone too far.
Dennard has argued that past sexual indiscretions should not have consequences for Trump’s presidency. The president, this week, called Dennard “wonderful,” following a terse exchange with 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
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 21, 2018
ASU’s 13-page report into Dennard details multiple inappropriate incidents he often initiated with two women between 2013 and 2014, the paper reported, including making masturbatory gestures, licking a woman’s neck and making sexually suggestive comments.
Over emails with The Post, Dennard declined to answer specific questions about ASU’s investigation or his firing from his position as events director for ASU’s McCain Institute for International Leadership.
Shortly after The Washington Post published its story, a CNN spokeswoman said the network would suspend Dennard as it investigates the allegations.
“I cannot comment on items I have never seen regarding allegations I still believe to be false,” Dennard told the Post. “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.”
Dennard said he had not seen the full report and “was led to believe” it was “sealed and proprietary,” the paper reported.
Dennard has been a staunch defender of the GOP and Trump, supporting the president in everything from his controversial statements to his case against adult film star Stormy Daniels, who said she was paid by Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen, to keep quiet about an alleged affair with Trump.
Cohen, on Tuesday, pleaded guilty one count of making an excessive campaign contribution on Oct. 27, 2016 — the same date he finalized a payment to Daniels as part of a nondisclosure agreement over her alleged affair with Trump.
Cohen said he did so at the direction of “a candidate for federal office,” though he did not mention Trump by name.
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