CNN dismissed Jeffrey Lord, a prominent backer of President Trump, hours after he tweeted the words “Sieg Heil!” at a liberal activist.
“Nazi salutes are indefensible,” a CNN spokesperson said in a statement. “Jeffrey Lord is no longer with the network.”
Soon after the news broke, Lord confirmed to the Washington Examiner in an interview that he was no longer with the network, saying the firing was “out of the blue” but that it was an “amicable” parting on his end.
He clarified that the perceived Nazi salute was meant to mock at Angelo Carusone, the president of Media Matters. Lord and Carusone had been in a spat since Lord penned a column for the American Spectator in defense of Fox News’ Sean Hannity, who Lord counts as a friend. Media Matters have been promoting a advertising boycott against Hannity’s television program.
“CNN has put out a statement saying this is never funny and all this — well of course this isn’t funny. That’s the point,” Lord said. “You have to use every tool in the toolbox to mock, to make fun of, to slam them with facts, to go after them because these people are bullies … I think CNN caved. I love them to death. I have nothing bad to say about Jeff Zucker or my other friends, I think they’re all terrific, but this is serious business.”
He also said that he did not regret the comment, even though it cost him his CNN contributorship. He was the first explicitly pro-Trump commentator to join the network back in August 2015.
“This was not a mistake. This is deliberately taking these people on and mocking them for their dictatorial, totalitarian would-be ways,” Lord said during a phone interview.
“I have no regrets. I would do it again in a second,” Lord said. “If I knew what was going to happen, I would do it again in a second.”
Lord, who lives in Harrisburg, Pa., said he has already heard from interested parties since his firing was announced, but said he does not see himself joining the Trump administration in any capacity. He made note of his ailing 98-year-old mother as a main reason, whom he lives with and cares for in central Pennsylvania.
“At this point, I’m more useful outside than inside. They have a lot of good people there,” said Lord, who worked in former President Ronald Reagan’s White House.
Media Matters had repeatedly called for Lord’s firing from CNN prior to Thursday.