CNN confidently stands by its reporting on conservative commentator and author Monica Crowley’s alleged plagiarism in her book and parts of her PhD dissertation.
Crowley, as first reported by The Daily Beast, was tapped by the Trump transition team in December to be the senior director for strategic communications for the National Security Council. But after an extensive CNN investigation revealed that Crowley had serially plagiarized in both the book and dissertation, she backed out of the prestigious White House job.
Crowley stayed largely silent since withdrawing from the position—partly due to the death of her brother-in-law Alan Colmes—but she eventually spoke up on Tuesday night, telling Fox News’ Sean Hannity that the entire ordeal was a “despicable, straight-up political hit job” that was “debunked.”
She also mysteriously claimed that her “editor has completely supported me and backed me up.”
Andrew Kaczynski, the CNN reporter who spearheaded the network’s reporting on the plagiarism allegations, wrote on Twitter that Crowley’s comments were “complete BS” and “nonsense.”
After the plagiarism incidents were revealed, HarperCollins—the publisher of her book, What the (Bleep) Just Happened?: The Happy Warrior's Guide to the Great American Comeback—announced it was pulling the book from store shelves, withdrawing the e-book version, and ceasing the printing of new copies until “the author has the opportunity to source and revise the material.”
HarperCollins, the book’s publisher, did not respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment on Crowley’s claim that she’s been absolved. Nor did HarperCollins respond to inquiries on whether the book is back on shelves.
Columbia University, where Crowley completed her PhD dissertation, also declined to comment on Crowley’s insinuation that the claims were debunked.
“We have no comment about this new assertion or about Monica Crowley’s dissertation, which was submitted in 2000 and is publicly available,” university spokesman Robert Hornsby told The Daily Beast. “The University's process for addressing concerns raised about University research preserves the confidentiality of any review, and even the fact of a review’s existence is confidential while it is underway. Columbia is committed to upholding the very highest standards of integrity and credibility in academic research.”
Crowley did not respond to a request for comment.