CNN Suspends Reporter Over Tweet About Syrian Refugee Vote

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.
November 20, 2015 Updated: November 20, 2015

A CNN reporter has been suspended from her job for two weeks after she sent out an opinionated tweet following the House vote on halting the Syrian refugee program.

The legislation would halt the program that allows Syrian and Iraqi refugees into the United States, and passed the House with a veto-proof majority.

That Senate is planning on voting on the bill, though it’s unclear when, and President Barack Obama has said that he intends to veto it, although he may be overruled.

Elise Labott, a global affairs correspondent to CNN, sent out a tweet with a link to the CNN story on the vote. The article was overall pretty objective, but the tweet was not.

“House passes bill that could limit Syrian refugees. Statue of Liberty bows head in anguish,” she said.

People almost immediately responded, wondering whether it was in line with CNN’s non-partisan editorial guidelines. 

Some supported the opinion in the tweet, while others disagreed. 

“Yes, how barbaric of us to be prudent in the face of direct threats from ISIS. Common sense!! Wake up,” said one Twitter user.

“CNN is dumb for suspending you for this tweet and major props to you for posting it,” added another.

Sources told the Washington Post and Politico that Labott has been suspended for two weeks.

She later took to Twitter to apologize, though she made no mention of the suspension and the broadcaster has yet to officially confirm the reports.

“Everyone, It was wrong of me to editorialize. My tweet was inappropriate and disrespectful. I sincerely apologize,” she posted.

The new bill came after the Paris terror attacks left 130 dead, along with hundreds wounded.

At least one of the attackers is thought to have used a Syrian passport to make his way through Europe.

The bill’s fate is uncertain because it would need a veto-proof majority (two-thirds) in the Senate, too, since Obama has vowed to veto it. While dozens of Democrats sided with Republicans in the House to vote for the bill, it’s unclear whether that will happen in the Senate. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said he’ll work to oppose the bill.

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.