CNN has dropped Pakistan-based freelance writer Adeel Raja after he tweeted Sunday from his verified Twitter account that “the world today needs a Hitler.”
Mr. Raja later deleted the tweet but not before facing a wave of backlash. CNN issued a statement later Sunday severing ties with Mr. Raja after the tweet came to its attention by the Washington Examiner.
“Adeel Raja has never been a CNN employee,” said CNN spokesperson Matt Dornic in an email to The Washington Times. “As a freelancer, his reporting contributed to some newsgathering efforts from Islamabad. However, in light of these abhorrent statements, he will not be working with CNN again in any capacity.”
Mr. Raja also retweeted Monday criticism from Donald Trump Jr.: “Hey @cnn this seems to be one of yours, but I imagine that surprises no one anymore.”
The freelance writer, who has reportedly tweeted praise for Adolf Hitler in the past, appeared unapologetic after his firing, tweeting to his 81,000 followers early Monday: “Glad a single tweet contributed to the #Palestine cause and brought it to limelight with me loosing [sic] my job and the West’s claim of Freedom of expression and human rights!”
He has contributed to more than 50 CNN articles since January 2014. In July of that same year, ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup final between Germany and Argentina, Mr. Raja tweeted, “The only reason I am supporting Germany in the finals is - Hitler was a German and he did good with those jews,” according to screenshots posted by freelance writer Yashar Ali. A couple of days later, Mr. Raja tweeted, “Hail Hitler,” according to the screenshots.
Mr. Raja, a pro-Palestinian activist, also frequently tweets about the escalating Israel-Hamas conflict.
“What the Jews are doing in Palestine is similar to what Indian Hindus are doing in Occupied Kashmir. Same tactics,” he tweeted Sunday.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during a rare appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday that the country plans to continue “full force” with the military campaign against the Hamas militant group after its rocket attacks on Israel.
• Valerie Richardson contributed to this story.