Less than two hours after The Washington Post published its damning exposé about Paris Dennard, a prominent cable news defender of President Donald Trump, CNN announced that it was suspending the pundit “effective immediately.”
“We are aware of reports of accusations against Paris Dennard,” a spokesperson for CNN said Wednesday evening. “We are suspending Paris, effective immediately, while we look into the allegations.”
Those allegations, reported by Aaron C. Davis for The Washington Post, paint the picture of a man who was repeatedly accused of sexual harassment before he was ultimately fired by Arizona State University four years ago.
According to a university report obtained by the Post, Dennard, who is also a member of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships, not only pursued sex with a recent college graduate but also “pretended to unzip his pants in her presence, tried to get her to sit on his lap, and made masturbatory gestures.” Other documents reveal that Dennard admitted to touching one woman’s “neck with his tongue” and coming up behind another woman and whispering in her ear that he wanted to “fuck her.”
“I cannot comment on items I have never seen regarding allegations I still believe to be false,” Dennard wrote in an emailed statement. “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 served as a surrogate for Trump during the 2016 campaign and continues to defend him regularly for CNN, where he is a paid political commentator. He also serves as a political analyst for NPR and a contributor to The Hill. As recently as this past week, Dennard drew direct praise from the president when he debated former CIA official Philip Mudd over Trump’s decision to revoke John Brennan’s security clearance.
“Just watched former Intelligence Official Phillip Mudd become totally unglued and weird while debating wonderful @PARISDENNARD over Brennan’s Security Clearance,” Trump tweeted on Monday. “Dennard destroyed him but Mudd is in no mental condition to have such a Clearance. Should be REVOKED?”