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Don Lemon Reveals What Got Him Fired From CNN

In a new interview, the legendary journalist opens up about his firing for the first time.

In April, CNN shocked the entire world when they announced they were firing Don Lemon, who spent nearly two decades at the network. "CNN and Don have parted ways," Chris Licht, CNN's chairman, said in a statement at the time. "Don will forever be a part of the CNN family, and we thank him for his contributions over the past 17 years. We wish him well and will be cheering him on in his future endeavors." But nobody was more surprised than the legendary journalist himself.

"I am stunned," he tweeted in response. "After 17 years at CNN I would have thought that someone in management would have had the decency to tell me directly. At no time was I ever given any indication that I would not be able to continue to do the work I have loved at the network." Over the weekend, Lemon opened up about the firing in his first interview, revealing why he thinks he was let go. 

Lemon Says He Has a "Responsibility" to "Abide" by the Constitution


"I have a responsibility — not only as a journalist but as an American — to tell the truth and to abide by the promises of the Constitution," Lemon told ABC24 Memphis on Saturday. "Because the Constitution says a more perfect union, not a perfect union. I'm not a perfect person. No one is."

So He Has to "Stand Up for What Is Right" and "the Truth"


"In order to fulfill the promise of the Constitution, we have to stand up for what is right," Lemon continued. "We have to stand up for the truth."

Lemon Claims It Was Controversial Interview with Vivek Ramaswamy That Led to His Firing


Lemon claims the tense on-air interview with Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy reportedly provoked the firing, and when asked about it, Lemon says he has zero regrets. "I don't believe in platforming liars and bigots, insurrectionists and election deniers and putting them on the same footing as people who are telling the truth — people who are fighting for what's right, people who are abiding by the Constitution," he told ABC24. "I think that would be a dereliction of journalistic duty to do those sorts of things."

He Refuses to Compromise His Beliefs


"That is what has gotten me to this point, and that is what is going to carry me forward," he continued. "To know that I am standing up and abiding by the Constitution, which my profession demands that I do because we are listing in the First Amendment of the Constitution, which is freedom of speech, freedom of expression and freedom of the press."

He Isn't "In a Rush" to Find a New Job


Lemon isn't in a hurry to get a new job. "I'm not going to force anything. I'm not going to let other people's timeline influence me. I know people say, 'I miss you on television. What is your next move?' I'm figuring that out," he said. "I don't have to be in a rush. I think people rush and they end up making the wrong the decisions. I'm not rushing into anything."

His Payout Was Reported to Be Around $25 Million


Lemon reportedly made $7 million a year at CNN. According to reports, his payout was around $25 million, but that is uncomfirmed. 

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