CBS/AP November 20, 2017, 4:37 PM

New York Times White House reporter Glenn Thrush suspended amid sexual misconduct claims

New York Times reporter Glenn Thrush works in the Brady Briefing Room at the White House on Feb. 24, 2017. GETTY

Last Updated Nov 20, 2017 4:37 PM EST

The New York Times says it has suspended White House reporter Glenn Thrush while it investigates claims that he made unwanted advances on young women while he worked as a reporter at Politico.

Laura McGann, a former colleague of Thrush's at Politico, wrote on Vox on Monday that Thrush placed his hand on her thigh and started kissing her one night in a bar, after urging another person who had been sitting with them to leave. "I pulled myself together and got out of there, shoving him on my way out," she writes.

She also reported accusations of three other young women who said Thrush made similar unwanted advances.

Thrush worked at Politico from 2009 to 2016.

In a statement, Thrush said, "I apologize to any woman who felt uncomfortable in my presence, and for any situation where I behaved inappropriately. Any behavior that makes a woman feel disrespected or uncomfortable is unacceptable."

His statement continued, "Over the past several years, I have responded to a succession of personal and health crises by drinking heavily. During that period, I have done things that I am ashamed of, actions that have brought great hurt to my family and friends.

"I have not taken a drink since June 15, 2017, have resumed counseling and will soon begin out-patient treatment for alcoholism. I am working hard to repair the damage I have done."

In a statement to CBS News following the report, the Times' senior vice president of communications, Eileen Murphy, called the alleged behavior "very concerning and not in keeping with the standards and values of The New York Times."

Murphy added, "We intend to fully investigate and while we do, Glenn will be suspended. We support his decision to enter a substance abuse program. In the meantime, we will not be commenting further."

The accusations against Thrush comes amid a growing public outcry over sexual misconduct allegations against men ranging from high-powered Hollywood executives to politicians and political candidates.