Jeffrey Toobin returns to CNN after ‘deeply moronic’ Zoom incident

Network’s chief legal analyst thought he’d turned off the camera
Jeffrey Toobin returns to CNN after ‘deeply moronic’ Zoom incident. CONTRIBUTED BY MJCCA

Jeffrey Toobin returns to CNN after ‘deeply moronic’ Zoom incident. CONTRIBUTED BY MJCCA

Months after a very public Zoom scandal during which he was caught masturbating, Jeffrey Toobin is returning to CNN as its chief legal analyst.

“I wasn’t thinking very well or very much, and it was something that was inexplicable to me,” Toobin said Thursday in an interview with “CNN Newsroom” co-host Alisyn Camerota. He described the incident as “deeply moronic and indefensible.”

During a Zoom meeting last year with staffers of the New Yorker and WNYC radio, Toobin exposed himself.

“I didn’t think I was on the call,” Toobin said. “I didn’t think other people could see me.”

“You thought you had turned off your camera?” Camerota asked. “Correct,” Toobin replied. “I thought I had turned off the Zoom call.”

Toobin was suspended by the New Yorker after the incident and later fired. He had been a New Yorker writer for more than 20 years and joined CNN in 2002. He is the author of several books, most recently “True Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Investigation of Donald Trump,” published last August.

Toobin said he spent “seven miserable months” after the incident and has engaged in therapy, as well as volunteering at a community food bank. All of this, he said, is an effort to “become the kind of person people can trust again.”

Toobin was brought on air to discuss the legalities of a case in California where a federal judge has overturned a decades-old ban on assault weapons. He has apologized to CNN staffers, former New Yorker colleagues and his family.

“And I’m sorry to the people who read my work and who watched me on CNN who thought I was a better person than this. And so, you know, I got a lot to rebuild, but I feel very privileged and very lucky that I’m going to be able to try to do that,” he said.

Toobin said he has spent his “miserable months” off-air “trying to be a better person.”

“I am trying to become the kind of person that people can trust again,” he said.

CNN has confirmed Toobin will be back on the network regularly in his chief legal analyst role. “I am incredibly grateful to CNN for taking me back,” he said.

Toobin is working on a new book about the Oklahoma City bombing. His other works include “The Run of His Life: The People v. O.J. Simpson” and “The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court.”