NYT Reporter Glenn Thrush Suspended Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Olivier Douliery/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

The New York Times has suspended White House correspondent Glenn Thrush amid allegations of sexual misconduct made in a report Vox published on Monday.

“The behavior attributed to Glenn in this Vox story is very concerning and not in keeping with the standards and values of The New York Times,” Eileen Murphy, the senior vice president of communications for the New York Times, told Vox in a statement. “We intend to fully investigate and while we do, Glenn will be suspended.”

Murphy said the New York Times supports Thrush’s “decision to enter a substance abuse program” and “will not be commenting further” in the meantime.

One 23-year-old woman, who Vox did not name in its report, said Thrush “left her in tears” on a street corner in Washington, D.C., after they shared a few drinks and “she resisted his advances.”

The woman said Thrush tried to hold her hand after they left a bar for a stroll, and led to her to a dimly lit path where he kissed her, causing her to panic. The woman’s friend, fellow journalist Bianca Padró Ocasio, called her and ordered her an Uber.

According to the woman, while she waited for the car, Thrush began kissing her again, but walked off when he noticed that she had started to cry.

Vox’s editorial director Laura McGann, who authored the report, also accused Thrush of unexpectedly kissing her five years ago when they both worked for Politico.

McGann said she “joined Thrush and a handful of other reporters for a few rounds at the Continental, a Politico hangout in Rosslyn, Virginia.”

“At first, nothing seemed strange, until the crowd had dwindled down to Thrush, me, and one other female colleague,” she wrote. “Thrush tossed a $20 bill at her and told her to take a cab and leave us, ‘the grown-ups,’ alone.”

McGann said Thrush “slid into my side of the booth, blocking me in.”

“I was wearing a skirt, and he put his hand on my thigh. He started kissing me,” she wrote. “I pulled myself together and got out of there, shoving him on my way out.”

McGann said Thrush sent her an “apologetic email” in the morning. A male reporter told her recently, McGann said, that Thrush “told him about the incident, except with the roles reversed.”

“I had come onto him, the reporter said Thrush told him, and he had gently shut it down,” McGann, who was a reporter at TPM a decade ago, said. “The source said that Thrush frequently told versions of this story with different young women as the subject.”

Another unnamed Politico staffer said she and Thrush talked for most of the night at a Politico party, where she had a lot to drink before Thrush offered her a ride home, and both of them somehow ended up at her home instead.

“I remember stopping him at one point and saying, ‘Wait, you’re married,'” the staffer said. “I remember that by the time he left, I didn’t have much clothes on.”

The staffer said she did not believe she was pressured or “a victim,” but said she regrets not telling more women—she spoke to two—about Thrush’s behavior.

Another unnamed woman told Vox that Thrush kissed her ear at a Politico party in 2013.

“It all happened very quickly. And he leaned in very quickly,” she told Vox. “At the time, I remember thinking … adults sometimes kiss each other on the cheek. Then sometimes they miss and slobber on your ear. It was my way of thinking this wasn’t as weird as I thought.”

Thrush did not deny the allegations in a response to McGann on Sunday.

“I apologize to any woman who felt uncomfortable in my presence, and for any situation where I behaved inappropriately. Any behavior that makes a woman feel disrespected or uncomfortable is unacceptable,” he said in a statement.

He said the incident with the 23-year-old woman “was a life-changing event” for him.

“The woman involved was upset by my actions and for that I am deeply sorry,” Thrush said. “Over the past several years, I have responded to a succession of personal and health crises by drinking heavily. During that period, I have done things that I am ashamed of, actions that have brought great hurt to my family and friends.”

Thrush said he has “resumed counseling and will soon begin out-patient treatment for alcoholism.”

“I am working hard to repair the damage I have done,” he said.

Thrush and his New York Times colleague and frequent writing partner Maggie Haberman in September announced a book deal with Random House for a book on President Donald Trump’s administration. A Random House spokesperson told Politico, “This matter recently came to our attention and we are looking at it closely and seriously.”

A spokesperson for MSNBC, where Thrush is a contributor, told Politico that the network is “awaiting the outcome of the Times’ investigation.”

“He currently has no scheduled appearances,” the spokesperson told Politico, of Thrush.

This post has been updated.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.

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