CNN host Erin Burnett said on her show “OutFront” Monday night that Anton had declined to appear on the program, because he “could not defend the president” — a claim that Anton rebuffed in a statement to The Hill.

“From the moment President Trump’s press conference ended, CNN’s coverage was atrocious and histrionic,” Anton said in an email. “I did cancel, because I knew that whatever I said, CNN would try to use me as a cudgel with which to bash the President. I support President Trump and I never want to be misused as an instrument to undermine him or his administration.”

“As soon as CNN was informed of my withdrawal, they threatened to cite that withdrawal on air to bash the President,” he continued. “And that’s exactly what they did. It’s clear I made the right decision.”