CNN is suspending pro-Trump contributor Paris Dennard as it investigates allegations of misconduct first surfaced in a Washington Post story.
The Post on Wednesday night reported that Dennard was fired from a previous job at Arizona State University for “making sexually explicit comments and gestures toward women, according to documents and a university official.”
Following publication of the report, The Hollywood Reporter reached out to CNN to determine Dennard’s status. “We are aware of reports of accusations against Paris Dennard,” a network spokesperson said. “We are suspending Paris, effective immediately, while we look into the allegations.”
According to a report conducted by the university and obtained by the newspaper, Dennard acted inappropriately with a recent college graduate under his employ. He “pretended to unzip his pants in her presence, tried to get her to sit on his lap, and made masturbatory gestures,” according to the report.
Dennard, who once worked for George W. Bush’s White House, had been working for ASU’s McCain Institute for International Leadership.
A reliable defender of President Donald Trump on CNN’s airwaves, he was lauded by Trump as “wonderful” on Monday night for his combativeness with presidential critic Philip Mudd during a segment late last week.
CNN has cycled through pro-Trump conservative contributors over the last year or so. Last August, the network fired Jeffrey Lord for using a Nazi salute on Twitter, and in January parted ways with Ed Martin for unstated reasons that coincided with impolite remarks he made on his radio show about his colleagues.
The network’s decision to suspend Dennard was widely hailed by CNN viewers on social media on Wednesday night.