CNN on Thursday fired contributor and staunch Trump supporter Jeffrey Lord after he tweeted a Nazi salute.
“Nazi salutes are indefensible,” a CNN spokesperson said in a statement. “Jeffrey Lord is no longer with the network.”
Lord sent the tweet as part of a back-and-forth with Angelo Carusone, the president of Media Matters for America, a prominent liberal group.
Lord, who was an early pro-Donald Trump commentator on the network, later said on Twitter that he sent the tweet to mock “Nazis and fascists.”
Carusone has called for Lord’s firing in the past. Lord has in turn been critical of Carusone and the liberal group, saying they were playing “a fascist game” by supporting ad boycotts of Fox News host Sean Hannity.
Lord seemingly reacted to the news on Twitter. “LOL!” he tweeted at 5:55 p.m., soon after his firing was announced.
The tweet caused a Twitter storm. There was renewed criticism both of Lord, personally, and of CNN for having him on the payroll.
Carusone tweeted on Thursday afternoon and said “CNN does not seem to hold Jeffrey Lord to any kind of standard.”
- Under withering criticism from others on social media, Lord did not backtrack from the Nazi reference.
He asked, “Why would I delete something that mocks the Fascists at Media Matters Fascists?”
Later, in a telephone interview with CNN, Lord said, “I think these people are very dangerous.”
“They run around bullying people, bullying advertisers to take people off the air,” he added.
Of the offensive tweet, he said, “I’m mocking people who are posing a serious threat to the American free press. That’s what I’m mocking.”
Another Trump-supporting conservative commentator, Kayleigh McEnany, recently left CNN under unrelated circumstances.
McEnany asked to be let out of her CNN contract to become the spokeswoman for the RNC.