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New York Times White House Reporter Glenn Thrush Suspended in Wake of Harassment Allegations

WASHINGTON — Glenn Thrush, a star reporter covering the White House for the New York Times, has been suspended amid a Vox report of inappropriate behavior toward women.

“The alleged ​behavior is very concerning and not in keeping with the standards and values of The New York Times,” a Times spokeswoman said in a statement. “We intend to fully investigate and while we do, Glenn will be suspended. We support his decision to enter a substance abuse program. In the meantime, we will not be commenting further.”

Vox published text messages between Thrush and the friend of an unidentified female reporter who said he made unwanted advances toward her following a night out at a bar near the Politico offices in June. He worked at the political news outlet before joining the Times in January. The writer of the story, Laura McGann, said Thrush also made unwanted advances toward her, including an incident at the same establishment five years ago. McGann wrote that she also talked to two other women who described instances of “unwanted groping and kissing to wet kisses out of nowhere to hazy sexual encounters that played out under the influence of alcohol.”

Thrush issued a statement on Monday in which he wrote, “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.”

Thrush’s byline has become so recognizable that he was even portrayed earlier this year in “Saturday Night Live” skits of then-White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s briefings. He and another reporter, Maggie Haberman, are due to write a book about the Trump White House.

A spokeswoman for Random House, which is publishing the book, said in a statement, “This matter recently came to our attention and we are looking at it closely and seriously.”

In his statement, Thrush wrote that his “recollection of my interactions with Laura differs greatly from hers — the encounter was consensual, brief, and ended by me. She was an editor above me at the time and I did not disparage her colleagues at Politico as she claims. The assertion that I would rate women based on their appearance is false.”

He added, “I have never offered mentorship or reporting advice to anyone, man or woman, with an expectation of anything in return. To assert otherwise is false.”

He also called the incident in June “a life-changing event.” “The woman involved was upset by my actions and for that I am deeply sorry.”

He said that over the past several years, he has 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.” He wrote that he has not had a drink since June 15, 2017, and has resumed counseling and is in an out-patient treatment program for alcoholism.

 

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