CNN has suspended conservative commentator Paris Dennard, who President Trump called “wonderful,” after a report revealed he was fired from Arizona State University in 2015 for sexual misconduct.
According to the Washington Post, Dennard told a recent ASU graduate that he wanted to have sex with her while licking her neck during an event and “pretended to unzip his pants in her presence, tried to get her to sit on his lap, and made masturbatory gestures” when he worked as an events director at ASU’s McCain Institute for International Leadership, according to a university report obtained by the Post.
The ASU investigation, which tracks Dennard’s relationship with two women he sexually harassed between 2013 and 2014, alleges that Dennard would throw things at one woman and would frequently stare at her breasts. When he tried to move her shirt, he said, “Don’t worry, I’ve already seen it.” According to the report obtained by the Post, he admitted to touching one woman’s “neck with his tongue” and came up behind another woman during an event and “whispered in her ear that he wanted to ‘f---’ her.”
According to the report, Dennard “engaged in much of this behavior in the workplace and/or during work events. Such conduct, of course, is inappropriate . . . unprofessional and unbecoming of a university employee, and in violation of ASU policy.” As a result, he was placed on administrative leave in fall 2014 and fired in 2015.
“I cannot comment on items I have never seen regarding allegations I still believe to be false,” Dennard told The Post. “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, who's also written opinion pieces for the Hill and appeared on NPR’s “Here and Now,” was an early and outspoken supporter of Trump. On his website, 36-year-old Dennard says he was an “official media surrogate for the victorious Donald J. Trump for President Campaign.” In December, Trump appointed him to the Commission on White House Fellowships and called him a “key addition” to the Trump administration. On Monday, Trump praised Dennard for accusing officials of profiting from their security clearances.
“Just watched former Intelligence Official Phillip Mudd become totally unglued and weird while debating wonderful @PARISDENNARD over Brennan’s Security Clearance,” Trump tweeted. “Dennard destroyed him but Mudd is in no mental condition to have such a Clearance.”
And that wasn’t the first time Trump threw his support behind Dennard. During a February 2017 Black History Month Listening Session, Trump said Dennard was “doing an amazing job in a very hostile CNN community.”
Cover: Paris Dennard, GOP commentator, on the red carpet for "The State of Black America" town hall taping, at the Howard Theatre on May 3, 2017 in Washington. (Photo by Cheriss May) (Sipa via AP Images)