Kutler noted the on-air pushback to Duffy and said that “anyone watching the segment was not confused what CNN’s reporting was.”

The next day, Duffy suggested on CNN’s “New Day” that a missing DNC server is “at the heart of the Russia investigation.” Anchor Alysyn Camerota responded, “That’s a conspiracy theory,” a point Duffy appeared to concede.

CNN built a stable of pro-Trump pundits, like Jeffrey Lord, Kayleigh McEnany, and Corey Lewandowski, during the 2016 election as several of its conservative commentators, and other leading Republican voices, were critical of his candidacy. After they departed, CNN continued adding supportive commentators during Trump’s presidency, with Duffy the most recent.

“It is hard to find people who will come on and support the president’s point of view,” CNN chief Jeff Zucker said at the network’s “Citizen” conference last Thursday. “We need these voices.”