NEW YORK (AP) — John Miller, who has held major jobs in both justice agencies and journalism, is joining CNN as chief law enforcement and intelligence analyst, the network said on Tuesday.
Miller has worked at both ABC News and CBS News during his career. He also worked at the FBI and most recently was the deputy commissioner of intelligence and counterterrorism for the New York Police Department.
As a journalist, he covered the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and, prior to that while at ABC News, conducted an interview with Osama bin Laden. He co-authored the book, “The Cell: Inside the 9/11 Plot.”
“John will help deliver on CNN’s commitment to tackle complex issues while presenting audiences with independent, objective news and meaningful analysis across platforms,” said Chris Licht, CNN Worldwide CEO and chairman.
Miller started work Tuesday in the network’s New York bureau.
Miller drew criticism from civil rights advocates and elected officials, including Mayor Eric Adams, for testimony to the city council earlier this year about the NYPD’s post-9/11 spying on Muslims, a practice that The Associated Press revealed in a series of Pulitzer Prize-winning articles a decade ago. The NYPD disbanded the program in 2014 and settled lawsuits over its tactics, agreeing not to conduct surveillance based on religion, race or ethnicity.
Miller said that while “there is perception” that the NYPD sent people into mosques to spy on Muslims, “there is no evidence that that occurred.” He insisted the department acted in full compliance with a longtime legal agreement governing its intelligence-gathering efforts. The lawsuits were settled with no admission of wrongdoing, Miller said.
Muslim Advocates, a group involved in a lawsuit that was settled in 2018, decried CNN’s decision to hire Miller as “a cruel joke.”
“We have no faith that as chief law enforcement and intelligence analyst at CNN, Miller won’t continue to propagandize on behalf of law enforcement and dismiss clear discrimination against Muslims and other marginalized communities,” senior policy counsel Sumayyah Waheed said in a statement.
Since taking over earlier this year, Licht has tried to steer CNN in the direction of offering more news and less opinion. He’s attracted more attention lately for departures under his watch, like former “Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter. Last Friday, CNN White House correspondent John Harwood announced that he was exiting.
Harwood had worked at The New York Times and Wall Street Journal as well as NBC News.