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‘Morning Joe’ Addresses ‘Our Friend’ Mark Halperin’s Absence After Harassment Claims

“We are going to be following this story as it develops,” says show co-host Mika Brzezinski

In its first hour, “Morning Joe” addressed a bombshell report from CNN detailing five allegations of sexual harassment against show regular Mark Halperin while he worked at ABC News more than a decade ago.

“Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski responded to the news in a terse on-air statement.

“Now to a story that broke overnight involving someone you see around this table every day. CNN is reporting allegations regarding our friend Mark Halperin during his time at ABC News over a decade ago, unnamed sources detailing unwanted advances and inappropriate behavior,” said a somber Brzezinski.

“Halperin apologized for the pain his actions caused and said, ‘I will take a step back from my day-to-day work while I properly address the situation.’ We are going to be following this story as it develops. I’m sure we’ll be talking about it again when we know more about it.”

On Thursday morning, an MSNBC spokesman told TheWrap that the consequences for Halperin would be more severe than a “step back” and that the contributor would be suspended until the matter could be sorted out.

“We find the story and the allegations very troubling,” an MSNBC spokesperson told TheWrap. “Mark Halperin is leaving his role as a contributor until the questions around his past conduct are fully understood.”

A source with knowledge of the situation said it was also unlikely Halperin would ever return to the set of “Morning Joe.”