NBC’s Halperin, Who Said Trump Should Quit After Access Hollywood, Faces Sexual Harassment Claims

NBC News political analyst Mark Halperin, who suggested strongly that Donald Trump might have to resign as the Republican candidate for president after the release of the Access Hollywood video in 2016, has his own sexual harassment problems.

An investigative report published Wednesday by CNN features accusations from five women who worked for Halperin when he was ABC News’ political director in the 1990s who say he sexually harassed them.

The accusations against Halperin, who co-authored the best-seller Game Change, detailing the 2008 election, and its sequel, Double Down: Game Change 2012, range from attempting to arrange sexual encounters with younger women who worked for him to grabbing a woman’s breasts and rubbing his crotch area against another woman.

“During this period, I did pursue relationships with women I worked with, including some junior to me,” Halperin told CNN. “I now understand from these accounts that my behavior was inappropriate and caused others pain.” Halperin denied grabbing anyone’s breasts and also said he did not rub himself against any of the women.

Halperin, who in addition to his NBC news work is a frequent panelist on the MSNBC show Morning Joe, made his comments about Trump on MSNBC’s show The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell on October 7, 2016, the day the Washington Post revealed the existence of the video in which Trump boasted to Access Hollywood host Billy Bush about his approach to women, which included kissing them and grabbing them in the genital area.

Women accuse Mark Halperin of sexually harassment.
NBC News political analyst Mark Halperin has issued an apology to women he sexually harassed. [Image by Eric Charbonneau/AP Images

“There’s concern that this is- this is simply not just, not just the last straw, but a bridge too far regarding the statements that he was recorded making,” Halperin said to show host Lawrence O’Donnell.

NBC News and ABC News did not respond to CNN’s request for a comment.

Though Halperin has never had sexual harassment charges leveled against him publicly in the past, his career has not been without controversy. In 2012, MSNBC suspended him for two weeks after he made a reference to President Barack Obama using a vulgar term.

After the sexual harassment allegations, Halperin was not specific about what he intended to do, but told CNN he planned to “take a step back from my day-to-day work” while he deals with the problem.

The CNN investigation turned up no instances of sexual harassment involving Halperin since he left ABC News.

[Featured Image by Eric Charbonneau/AP Images]