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Friday November 24th, 2017 9:49AM

Prominent political journalist off air following sex claims

By The Associated Press
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NEW YORK (AP) — MSNBC says journalist Mark Halperin has been suspended from his role as network contributor following charges from five women who claimed he sexually harassed them while he was an ABC News executive.

The network said Thursday it found Halperin's conduct as described in a CNN story "very troubling" and that the veteran political reporter will be off the air until questions about his past are fully understood. Halperin has apologized for what he termed inappropriate behavior.

The co-author of the best-selling book "Game Change" told CNN Wednesday night that he's "deeply sorry" and is taking a "step back" from day-to-day work to deal with the situation.

His statement came after CNN reported allegations that Halperin propositioned, fondled and pushed himself against five women in the early 2000s while he was ABC News' political director.

The women, who asked to remain anonymous, said they didn't report Halperin's conduct because they feared retribution or were embarrassed.

Halperin says he pursued relationships, sometimes with junior co-workers, but CNN says he denies the groping allegations.

On MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Thursday, co-host Mika Brzezinski informed viewers about Halperin. He has been a frequent panelist on the show.

"We're going to be following this story as it develops," she said. "I'm sure we'll be talking about it again when we know more about it."

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