CNN has severed ties with provocative commentator Jeffrey Lord following his tweeting “Seig Heil!” at Angelo Carusone, a prominent liberal activist and president of Media Matters.
“Nazi salutes are indefensible,” CNN said in a release. “Jeffrey Lord is no longer with the network.”
Lord disagreed with the decision, but expressed his respect for CNN and its management. “I love CNN, but I feel they are caving to bullies here,” he said in a telephone interview after the decision was announced.
“You’re not supposed to make fun of Nazis? I don’t think so,” Lord said. “I do not ever intend to be quiet. If I had to do it all over again, I would.”
The personality had served as a staff member in the Reagan administration. He was the first explicitly pro-Trump commentator on the network, joining in August 2015. Lord’s addition to CNN’s roster was viewed as a counterweight to other commentators, who were virtually unanimous in dismissing Trump’s candidacy.
Following his firing, Lord received a phone call from White House chief strategist Steve Bannon. In the call, Bannon told Lord to “keep fighting.”