CNN has dropped freelance contributor Adeel Raja after it was revealed that he posted a series of antisemitic comments on social media and praised the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler on a number of occasions.
The Islamabad-based journalist on Sunday tweeted that “the world today needs a Hitler,” and quickly removed the post when it sparked backlash.
He has previously declared his support for the German national football team because of “what Hitler did with Jews.”
“The only reason I am supporting Germany in the finals is – Hitler was a German and he did good with those jews!” Raja posted ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup final between Germany and Argentina.
In a separate post around that time, Raja also said: “My support for Germany is due to what Hitler did with Jews!”
The freelancer presented himself as a CNN contributor and had a byline on the network’s website as recently as September last year. His first CNN byline is dated January 2, 2014—several months before his anti-Semitic tweets during the Fifa World Cup.
Mediaite reported last night that Raja has since removed “Freelance Contributor at CNN” from his Twitter bio. However, he still has CNN listed among other past employers and clients on his LinkedIn profile. Newsweek has contacted CNN for further comment.
In a statement obtained by the Washington Examiner, CNN said that Raja would not be working with the network again “in any capacity,” and clarified that he had never been an employee.
“Adeel Raja has never been a CNN employee. As a freelancer, his reporting contributed to some newsgathering efforts from Islamabad,” CNN spokesman Matt Dornic told the Examiner.
“However, in light of these abhorrent statements, he will not be working with CNN again in any capacity.”