White House Correspondent John Harwood Says He’s Leaving CNN – Deadline


CNN White House correspondent John Harwood said that Friday will be his last day at the network.

Harwood wrote on Twitter, “Personal news: today’s my last day at CNN … proud of the work … thanks to my colleagues… i’ve been lucky to serve the best in American media – St. Petersburg Times, WSJ, NYT, the NBC family, CNN … look forward to figuring out what’s next.”

Harwood did not give a reason for his exit, but he has been particularly outspoken about Donald Trump and what he sees as his threat to democracy as the network’s new leadership has tried to move toward a more neutral tone in coverage. A spokesperson for the network did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

His exit is the latest change at the network under new chairman and CEO Chris Licht. Last month, he cancelled the Sunday show Reliable Sources and its host, Brian Stelter, departed the network. Longtime legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin also recently left.

Before joining CNN in January, 2020, Harwood served as CNBC’s chief White House correspondent from 2006 to 2019. He also has offered political analysis for The New York Times, NBC, MSNBC, NPR and PBS.

Under new owner Warner Bros. Discovery, the network has shifted away from opinion, as the network had become a frequent target of Trump and his allies on the right. The move toward more neutral coverage is a distinct change from Licht’s predecessor, Jeff Zucker, who all but encouraged some on-air personalities to speak out about Trump and the threats he posed to democratic norms.

The shift in strategy has put some of the network journalists in a bit of an awkward position.

After Joe Biden delivered a speech in Philadelphia on Friday, warning of the threat posed by Trump and MAGA Republicans, some CNN personalities criticized the president for featuring two Marine guards in the backdrop for a speech seen as overtly political. Harwood, though, tweeted, “Biden’s assertion that Trump and extremist Republicans pose a threat to American democracy is, undeniably, true.” He also retweeted a recap of a Friday CNN appearance in which he that even though journalists are taught not to take sides in “honest disagreements” between the parties, these “are not honest disagreements. The GOP right now is led by a dishonest demagogue.”

Harwood has long been outspoken about Trump and the impact he has had on the Republican party and politics in general. In June, he tweeted, “Donald Trump couldn’t have done any of this without the Republican Party the Republican Party nominated him, elected him, enabled his behavior for four years in two impeachments, the Republican Party absolved him of historically-extreme wrongdoing obvious to anyone w/eyes open.”


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