CNN removes new Press Secretary’s partner from reporting on politics after ethical concerns

by mcardinal

Lauren Moye, FISM News


Karine Jean-Pierre was announced as the next White House Press Secretary on Thursday. By the end of the day, concerns were raised about Jean-Pierre’s long-term relationship with CNN correspondent and reporter, Suzanne Malveaux. Now, CNN has removed Malveaux from covering U.S. politics.

CNN decided on Friday to remove Malveaux from political pieces. She has previously covered the White House and hosted the media company’s program The Situation Room. Her political coverage is something the journalist prides herself on, evidenced by Malveaux placing in her Twitter biography that she’s “Covered White House 10 years.” Yet her relationship with Jean-Pierre created a conflict of interest, as previously reported by FISM.

A Washington Examiner exclusive statement provided by CNN spokesman Matt Dornic said, “Suzanne Malveaux will continue in her role as CNN National Correspondent covering national/international news and cultural events but will not cover politics, Capitol Hill, or the White House while Karine Jean-Pierre is serving as White House Press Secretary.”

After the White House announced Jean-Pierre’s promotion when current top spokeswoman Jen Psaki leaves on May 13, the majority of media focused on the historic moment. According to the media, Jean-Pierre is the first Black person to hold the title of Press Secretary. She is also the first openly gay individual in the role.

However, as the news broke about the long-term relationship between Jean-Pierre and Malveaux, the controversy quickly gained public attention and criticism:

Multiple media companies reported on the relationship, including FISM, New York Post, and Breitbart’s editor-in-chief Alex Marlow, among others.

Ethics watchdog group Protect the Public Trust also called out the relationship, telling Daily Mail on Friday, “’Regardless of the legal status of her relationship with Malveaux, given Jean-Pierre’s unique role with the media, this certainly presents the appearance of a potential conflict of interest.”

The lesbian couple lives together in Washington, along with a 7-year-old child who was adopted as a baby. Neither Jean-Pierre nor Malveaux have responded to the ethical concerns.

Both the outgoing press secretary and CNN are embroiled in controversy for similar scandals. In early April, it was reported that after Psaki’s planned departure from her public-facing role, she would begin to work for MSNBC. Axios also reported that Psaki would host a show on NBC’s streaming service, Peacock.

Psaki has not confirmed either of these plans. This has prompted groups like Protect the Public Trust to call on the Biden Administration to provide greater transparency regarding her plans.

CNN is also well-known for the Cuomo brothers’ controversy. In December, CNN fired anchor Chris Cuomo after it was revealed that Chris used his position to assist Andrew Cuomo, his older brother and former New York governor. The controversy extended past Chris when he stated that other CNN executives knew about his assistance to Andrew and were “fully supportive.”