Don Lemon Returns to CNN Following Controversial Nikki Haley Remarks: ‘I’m Sorry’

Don Lemon
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Don Lemon returns to CNN but he saved his apology for Twitter.

Don Lemon returned to CNN early Wednesday morning with no mention of him stirring up controversy last week. Instead, Lemon saved his comment for social media -- posting to Twitter moments before going on air.

"I appreciate the opportunity to be back on @CNNThisMorning today,” he wrote. "To my network, my colleagues and our incredible audience -- I’m sorry. I’ve heard you, I’m learning from you, and I’m committed to doing better. See you soon."

After skipping the previous three episodes of CNN This Morning, the 56-year-old newsman jumped right back in, with a discussion on President Joe Biden. 

He was joined by Poppy Harlow, the co-anchor who reportedly stormed off after his outrageous on-air claim last week about GOP presidential candidate and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

“What a day,” said 40-year-old Harlow, seemingly referring to Biden’s European trip supporting Ukraine and not Lemon’s recent absence.

“Good morning everyone, Don and I are here in New York, we’re glad you’re with us,” Harlow said as fellow host Kaitlan Collins was covering the president in Poland.

Neither made mention of the ongoing scandal of Lemon’s on-air comments.

On Friday, Lemon was given the opportunity to address CNN staffers and apologize for his comments.

"I’m sorry that I said it. And I certainly see why people found it completely misguided," Lemon said, CNN reports. "When I make a mistake, I own it. And I own this one as well."

Lemon stressed "I believe that women of any age… can do whatever they set their minds to." adding, "The people I am closest to in this organization are women... The people I seek counsel from most in this organization are women."

Lemon also apologized publicly on Twitter, writing, "The reference I made to a woman’s 'prime' this morning was inartful and irrelevant, as colleagues and loved ones have pointed out, and I regret it. A woman’s age doesn't define her either personally or professionally. I have countless women in my life who prove that every day."

According to a memo sent out to CNN employees on Monday night, Lemon will undergo "formal training" as part of his return to his role as an anchor of CNN This Morning.

"I sat down with Don and had a frank and meaningful conversation," CNN CEO Chris Licht wrote in an email, CNN reports. "He has agreed to participate in formal training, as well as continuing to listen and learn. We take this situation very seriously."

Lemon stirred controversy last week when discussing Haley's recently announced presidential candidacy and remarks she made calling for mental competency tests for presidential candidates over 75.

The 56-year-old journalist addressed the remarks to his co-anchors, Harlow and Collins, and quipped that 51-year-old Haley "isn't in her prime" herself. When pressed on the comment by his fellow anchors, Lemon doubled down, arguing, "If you Google 'when is a woman in her prime,' it’ll say 20s, 30s and 40s."