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Jeffrey Toobin returned to CNN on Thursday about eight months after he was caught masturbating on a work Zoom call, and his colleague Alisyn Camerota opened their discussion by asking, "What the hell were you thinking?"
The legal analyst was fired by The New Yorker after he reportedly exposed himself and masturbated during a video call with staffers from the magazine in October. He was also placed on leave at CNN after the incident, but he returned to the air on Thursday afternoon, apologizing for his behavior while again saying that he didn't realize anyone could see him on the call at the time.
"Now, that's not a defense," Toobin said. "This was deeply moronic and indefensible. But that is part of the story. And I have spent the seven subsequent months — miserable months in my life, I can certainly confess — trying to be a better person."
Toobin apologized for his behavior, including to CNN viewers who "thought I was a better person than this," and he said that because there's "no defense for my conduct," the "only issue is what should be the consequences." He argued that The New Yorker firing him was "excessive" because he says the magazine found there were no complaints about him during his 27 years there prior to the incident.
"I'm incredibly grateful to CNN for taking me back," Toobin added. "But other people are going to weigh in about whether it was appropriate for them to get rid of me and for CNN to keep me."
Toobin also argued that this experience won't affect his ability to continue providing legal analysis for the network, and after the discussion wrapped up, Camerota moved on to get Toobin's commentary on the news of the day.