In one week, CNN lost its two most high-profile supporters of President Donald Trump. On Thursday, CNN cut ties with commentator Jeffrey Lord after he tweeted, “Sieg Heil!” to Angelo Carusone. Carusone complained of an error in Lord’s piece in The American Spectator and Lord responded with the Nazi salute. Lord described Carusone, the president of the liberal media watchdog group Media Matters, and Media Matters workers as “fascists” and “anti-free speech bigots.”
After Lord tweeted the line out, the tweet was shared online, typically as a screengrab in case Lord deleted it, devoid of the context. Some tweeters implied that Lord was a Nazi, rather than mocking a political opponent as one.
As the controversy grew, CNN announced that they had cut ties with the pro-Trump commentator, “Nazi salutes are indefensible. Jeffrey Lord is no longer with the network.”
A request for comment from Lord was unanswered.
After it was announced that he had been let go, Lord tweeted (presumably in reference to the event), “LOL!” Following his firing, some lamented his departure. Ana Navarro, who frequently sparred with Trump on CNN, tweeted, “I’m going to miss screaming at @realJeffreyLord. It was strangely therapeutic.” However, she later tweeted, “Pro Tip: If you’re on TV, never, ever, 1. Quote Nazis; 2. Compare anything to rape; 3. Compare anyone to Martin Luther King. You’re welcome.” Conservative commentator S.E. Cupp, who also appeared often with Lord on CNN’s political panels, tweeted, “I disagreed with @realjefflord often, but it should be said that he was always kind and good… .”
With Lord leaving, CNN has lost its two most high profile Trump supporters. Lord and McEnany had been on CNN’s airwaves since the 2016 election and Lord was the first pro-Trump surrogate that CNN hired. However, they were also two of CNN’s most controversial surrogates and oftentimes said false or inflammatory statements that led to derailed segments. During the Trump Administration, Lord has double-downed on the President and regularly denied to criticize Trump at all, even when pushed by CNN’s hosts, anchors, and fellow commentators.
While Lord and McEnany have left the building, CNN has built up its ranks of Trump supporters. Jason Miller, a communications staffer for the Trump 2016 campaign, regularly appears on the network as does former representative Jack Kingston.