‘New York Times’ White House Reporter Suspended Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations

November 20, 2017, 8:18 PM UTC

New York Times White House correspondent Glenn Thrush has been suspended following a report by news site Vox that detailed sexual misconduct allegations against him by several women, including by the article’s author.

“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,” The Times said in a statement on Monday. “We intend to fully investigate and while we do, Glenn will be suspended.”

The claims by female journalists in their 20s include “unwanted groping and kissing to wet kisses out of nowhere to hazy sexual encounters that played out under the influence of alcohol,” the article said.

Vox’s article also includes a text message exchange in June between Thrush and a friend of one of the women he allegedly harassed. The friend, Bianca Padró Ocasio, contacted Thrush about the encounter, which took place after a night of drinking at a colleague’s going away party and that had left the woman rattled. Padró Ocasio contacted Thrush trying to figure out what happened after the woman texted her earlier that she was “nervous about this Glenn situation.” The woman claims Thrush presented himself as an advocate for women in journalism.

“I want to make sure you don’t lure young women aspiring journalists into those situations ever again,” Padró Ocasio texted. “So help me out here. How can I do that?”

The bulk of the claims—unwanted kissing and an intoxicated consensual sexual encounter—came from his time at news site Politico, where he was chief political correspondent and a senior staff writer for Politico Magazine, prior to joining the Times in January.

“Great journalism and great business require a great workplace,” Carrie Budoff Brown, who became editor of Politico in 2016, told Vox. “My colleagues and I have worked hard to nurture a newsroom where people are supportive, good to each other, and where mutual respect is the way of life. We have zero tolerance for anything else.”

In a statement, Thrush said: “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.”

However, Thrush disputes the allegations by Laura McGann, the Vox article’s author, who said she’d been subject to unwanted kissing from Thrush.

“My recollection of my interactions with Laura differs greatly from hers — the encounter was consensual, brief, and ended by me,” he said in a statement, according to Politico. “She was an editor above me at the time and I did not disparage her to colleagues at POLITICO as she claims.”

In response to the allegation that prompted Padró Ocasio’s texts, Thrush made this statement to Vox:

“The June incident was a life-changing event [for me]. The woman involved was upset by my actions and for that I am deeply sorry.

“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.

“I have not taken a drink since June 15, 2017, have resumed counseling and will soon begin out-patient treatment for alcoholism. I am working hard to repair the damage I have done.”

Thrush is one of six White House reporters at the Times, and his star power was enough for him to be parodied on Saturday Night Live during skits about President Donald Trump and his White House press briefings. Thrush often works with fellow Times reporter Maggie Haberman; the two were planning to write about book about the Trump Administration.