John Harwood, CNN’s veteran Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington correspondent, suddenly and unexpectedly announced he was leaving the network Friday morning — shortly after a segment he punctuated with a partisan flourish.
Harwood, 65, appearing live on air during the news network’s coverage of President Joe Biden’s Thursday night speech, backed Biden’s assertions from the speech, lambasting Donald Trump as a “dishonest demagogue” before referencing the Jan. 6 insurrection.
“Donald Trump made Joe Biden’s point for him,” Harwood said, to close the segment, which you can watch here or at the top of this post.
The segment aired less than two hours before Harwood announced on Twitter that Friday would be his last day at CNN. It also came as new CEO Chris Licht has been reorganizing the outlet with an eye toward objective, centrist coverage of U.S. politics.
“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 said in a tweet.
In announcing his departure, Harwood simply wrote that he’s looking “forward to figuring out what’s next” when it came to his professional future.
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
— John Harwood (@JohnJHarwood) September 2, 2022
“We appreciate John’s work covering the White House, and we wish him all the best,” a CNN spokesperson told TheWrap.
Sources told Axios that Harwood had two years left on his contract with the network.
Harwood joined CNN in January 2020 to cover President Joe Biden’s administration. Prior to that, he served as CNBC’s Chief Washington Correspondent for 13 years. Covering each of the last nine presidential elections, he has provided political analysis to a range of respected outlets including The New York Times, NBC, MCNBC, The Wall Street Journal, NPR and PBS.
Harwood has been at the forefront of breaking political news, most notably during the 2008 campaign when he was the first to report that Republican nominee John McCain had selected Sarah Palin as his running mate. He received an Emmy nomination for hosting CNBC’s live town hall with President Barack Obama in 2010 and has moderated Republican presidential debates on CNBC in 2011 and 2015.
Harwood also contributed to WSJ’s coverage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, for which the newspaper’s staff received the Pulitzer Prize.
Brandon Katz contributed to this report.