Donald Trump praises CNN commentator fired for tweeting Nazi salute as 'a source of truth'

US President calls Jeffrey Lord 'great' during speech on tax reform in Pennsylvania

Tom Embury-Dennis
Thursday 12 October 2017 15:15 BST
Donald Trump speaks about tax reform during an event in Pennsylvania
Donald Trump speaks about tax reform during an event in Pennsylvania

Donald Trump has praised a political pundit fired by CNN for using a Nazi salute.

Jeffrey Lord sparked uproar in August after using Twitter to post “Sieg Heil” in response to criticism from a liberal activist.

The US President, during a speech on tax reform in Pennsylvania on Wednesday evening, said the “great Jeffrey Lord” – who was presumed to be in attendance – had been on “fake news CNN for a long time”.

“He was one of my few sources of truth. Thank you, Jeffrey, for being here. That’s a great honour.”

Mr Lord, one of CNN’s few in-house Trump supporters, was sacked hours after sending the offensive tweet, with a spokesperson for the news channel branding the message “indefensible”.

The 66-year-old failed to delete the tweet and defended his actions, saying he was mocking Nazis and fascists.

“I'm mocking people who are posing a serious threat to the American free press. That's what I'm mocking,” he said. “I love CNN, but I feel they are caving to bullies here.”

Mr Trump had previously come to Mr Lord’s defence at a rally in Arizona. “They fired Jeffrey Lord. Poor Jeffrey,” he said. "Jeffrey Lord. I guess he was getting a little bit fed up and was probably fighting back too hard and they said ‘We gotta get [him] out of here’.”

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The conservative commentator had been in a long-running dispute with Angelo Carusone, president of Media Matters for America, a left-leaning US media watchdog.

Branding the organisation "Media Matters Fascists”, Mr Lord accused it in a column of trying to “shut down speech they don’t like” following a campaign urging advertisers to boycott Fox News TV host Sean Hannity.

In a tweet to Mr Carusone, he misspelt his name as “Corusone”, prompting the Media Matters chief to reply: “Your headline has a mistake in it. Why do you expect anyone to take you seriously when you don't take yourself seriously?”

Mr Lord replied, “Sieg Heil!”

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