CNN contributor Alex Castellanos has returned $12,000 that had been paid to him by the Republican National Committee — a payment which violates CNN’s policy against paid contributors receiving money from political committees.
Castellanos told Media Matters he was unaware of the payment and returned when he “found out.”
“I was not aware of the payment because ours is a large business and an employee who handles and processes payments for me dealt with the RNC transaction,” Castellanos said. “CNN’s preference and policy is that I don’t work for the RNC or political candidates.”
Castellanos received the money in October of last year, and returned two months later. “When I found out that I was being paid by the RNC, I returned it,” Castellanos said. “I wish I could keep it. I would like to add to the economic recovery.”
A CNN spokesperson adds, “Not only did Alex do the right thing by returning the money, he also demonstrated his independence from the party chairman by calling for Michael Steele to step aside.”