NEW YORK – CNN's Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins paid a brief tribute Tuesday to their former “CNN This Morning” co-host, Don Lemon, who was fired from the network the day before.
“We wish him the best,” Collins said. The three anchors had been working together on the revamped morning show since last November.
Lemon's firing came after a series of missteps that included his suggestion in February that Republican presidential contender Nikki Haley was past her “prime.” He got into an onscreen argument last week with another GOP candidate, Vivek Ramaswamy, over their interpretation of racial history.
Those are sore spots at CNN, where network head Chris Licht has been trying to get Republicans to set aside their suspicion of the network and appear for interviews.
Lemon was fired after anchoring the show on Monday. He criticized network management for not breaking the news to him in person, but CNN disputed that in a dueling tweet.
Harlow addressed the absence on Tuesday by reading a statement from Licht about Lemon. She said Lemon was her first friend at CNN when she joined the network 15 years ago.
“Kaitlan and I are really proud of this show,” she said. “We are so proud of the dedicated team that are working around the clock to bring you the news each morning. Our priority is you, the viewer. We're grateful you welcomed us into your home this morning.”