The Reporter Who Brought Down Anthony Scaramucci Has Been Fired For "Improper Sexual Conduct"
The New Yorker fired Ryan Lizza on Monday. Lizza denied the allegations against him and called his dismissal "a terrible mistake."
Ryan Lizza, the prominent Washington correspondent for the New Yorker whose reporting earlier this year led to the ouster of President Trump's communications director, has been fired for sexual misconduct.
The New Yorker on Monday announced the firing of Lizza in a statement, saying it had recently learned Lizza "engaged in what we believe was improper sexual conduct."
"We have reviewed the matter and, as a result, have severed ties with Lizza," it continued.
Lizza also provided commentary for CNN, which issued a statement moments after the New Yorker announcement, saying the network was suspending Lizza "while we look into this matter."
In an email to BuzzFeed News, Lizza denied the accusations, saying he was "dismayed that the New Yorker has decided to characterize a respectful relationship with a woman I dated as somehow inappropriate."
"The New Yorker was unable to cite any company policy that was violated," he continued. "I am sorry to my friends, workplace colleagues, and loved ones for any embarrassment this episode may cause. I love the New Yorker, my home for the last decade, and I have the highest regard for the people who work there. But this decision, which was made hastily and without a full investigation of the relevant facts, was a terrible mistake."
Following the firing, law firm Wigdor LLP said it was representing an accuser and that "in no way did Mr. Lizza's misconduct constitute a 'respectful relationship' as he has now tried to characterize it."
Lizza has covered politics for years, but gained particular prominence earlier this year when Anthony Scaramucci — who at the time was President Trump's communications director — called him to rant about leaks at the White House and other members of the administration. During the call, Scaramucci infamously said that he was not "trying to suck my own cock" like then–senior White House counselor Steve Bannon.
Scaramucci was ousted four days after the publication of Lizza's story about the phone call.
Lizza's firing comes amid a major reckoning within the media, politics, and entertainment industries over sexual harassment. Beginning with allegations against film mogul Harvey Weinstein in October, there has been a nearly continuous series of reports about powerful men accused of sexual assault, rape, and other forms of harassment. Other journalists fired or suspended over allegations of improper sexual behavior include Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer, and Glenn Thrush.
Media figures have also come under particular scrutiny thanks to the "shitty media men" list, which began as a privately circulated documented that included men's names along with anonymous accusations against them.