CNN severed ties with Jeffrey Lord on Thursday, hours after he ignited controversy by tweeting the words “Sieg Heil!” at a prominent liberal activist.
Lord was not immediately reachable for comment. Earlier in the day, he defended his tweet by saying he was “mocking a fascist.”
Lord, a former Reagan administration staffer, had been one of CNN’s best-known commentators. He was the first explicitly pro-Donald Trump commentator to join the network, back in August 2015, two months after Trump entered the GOP primary race. At the time Lord was a counterweight to CNN’s other conservative commentators, who were all dismissive of Trump’s candidacy.
Other pro-Trump voices joined the network later. CNN now has about a dozen commentators who tend to support the president’s views.
But Lord always stood out from the pack — for his interpretations of history and his intense exchanges with commentators like Van Jones on “Anderson Cooper 360” and other programs.
Lord, a columnist for The American Spectator, has been harshly critical of the activist he tweeted at, Angelo Carusone, and the liberal group of which Carusone is president, Media Matters for America.