CNN on Thursday announced that it has severed ties with commentator Jeffrey Lord following his controversial tweet referencing a Nazi salute earlier that day.
Lord, who is a conservative columnist and vocal defender of President Trump, tweeted the phrase “Sieg Heil!” at a major liberal activist that afternoon.
“Nazi salutes are indefensible,” a CNN spokesperson said in a statement. “Jeffrey Lord is no longer with the network.”
Lord, a columnist for the right-leaning American Spectator magazine, had frequently clashed with Angelo Carusone before tweeting at him Thursday.
Carusone is president of Media Matters for America, a media watchdog group that tilts left and has repeatedly criticized Lord in the past.
Some Twitter users on Thursday celebrated Lord’s ouster from CNN after he joined the network in August 2015.
Finally! Jeffrey Lord's convoluted leaps of logic, twisted facts and bizarre references to Abraham Lincoln were just too painful. https://t.co/IXAldCzL4x— Suzanne Shelton (@SuzanneShelton) August 10, 2017
Other people on the social media platform voiced frustration with CNN for making the controversial pundit a commentator in the first place.
TBH, I don't really care why CNN fired Jeffrey Lord. I'd like to know why they ever had him on in the first place.— Caroline O. (@RVAwonk) August 10, 2017
Lord joined CNN two months after Trump entered the GOP presidential primary in 2016, making him billionaire’s first explicit supporter on the network.
CNN now has about a dozen commentators who typically back Trump’s actions, but Lord stood out from the roster by often serving as a foil to the network’s more liberal voices.
Lord wrote an American Spectator column earlier Thursday calling Media Matters for America “Media Matters fascists.”
“[They are] anti-free speech bigots who, in typical fascist style, make it their mission to shut down speech they don’t like,” he wrote.
Lord was criticizing Media Matters for pushing for an advertising boycott against Fox News host Sean Hannity, who is also a friend of his.
Carusone responded to Lord tweeting the column at him earlier Thursday by writing that “your headline has a mistake in it.”
“Why do you expect anyone to take you seriously when you don’t take yourself seriously?” he added, seemingly taking issue with Lord misspelling his last name.
Lord responded with the “Sieg Heil!” tweet, prompting online backlash for using the Nazi salute for “Hail, my leader” in German.