Don Lemon says he feels ‘vindicated’ by ex-CNN CEO’s ouster

Former CNN host Don Lemon said that he felt “vindicated” when the cable news network’s CEO Chris Licht, who unceremoniously fired him in April, was himself sent packing less than two months later.

The mercurial Lemon whose diva antics rubbed his former boss the wrong way, savored the schadenfreude during a co-hosting spot on the latest edition of Kara Swisher’s “Pivot” podcast in some of his first comments since he was ousted from his longtime gig.

“I’ll tell you what I’ve come to know now that I didn’t know at the time, that more so than anything that the CNN, the strategy and their content and the direction they wanted to go in that I was not a part of that, that they did not want me to be a part of that,” Lemon said. “And I think that has, from what has played out publicly as it relates to CNN, as it relates to management and what they’re doing now, I think is it’s obvious that they didn’t want me to be a part of that. And I think that’s the real issue that happened.”

“Did you, do you think you don’t fit into the new CNN or that they made the changes?” Swisher asked, referring to Licht’s ill-fated efforts to restore the network to its earlier centrist approach. “Because it’s not that different from when you were there in terms of reporting and other things?”

“When I was there, I was not a part of their strategy. And as you just said, they wanted to be centrist and they wanted to move the network in a certain direction, which was kind of a bit surprising because I think the news is the news. And you don’t choose the direction. It just is,” said the ex-host.

“So what do you think people got wrong about you leaving?” Swisher inquired. “And what happened later is the person who had really fired you essentially got fired.”

“I think that says it all. I mean, what more do I need to say?” Lemon replied, saying that he hasn’t had any contact with his former boss since he was sacked.

“Do you think it vindicates you?” Swisher asked.

“Yes, I do,” Lemon responded, referring to a lengthy story in The Atlantic that detailed the relationship between the two that went downhill from the get-go with his racist remarks to Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy reportedly being the final straw.

“Read the story and you speak to the people who are there and I think people get what happened. All you have to do is read The Atlantic story, read the subsequent stories that came out and you know how it played out. And. They’re gone now. So do I feel vindicated in that sense? Yes, I do,” he said.

Ironically, it was the same Atlantic story that played a key part in Licht’s own firing, being published as the embattled CEO was fighting off an internal mutiny over his decision to feature former President Donald J. Trump in a now infamous town hall from New Hampshire in front of a friendly audience that infuriated the top leftist talent at CNN.

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Chris Donaldson

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