CNN host Don Lemon tweeted out a so-called apology Thursday after he sparked outrage for saying Nikki Haley was not “in her prime” — but he failed to even mention the GOP presidential candidate’s name or the word “sorry.”
“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,” Lemon wrote in his tweet.
“A woman’s age doesn’t define her either personally or professionally. I have countless women in my life who prove that every day.”
The glaring omission was quickly pounced on by critics.
“This isn’t an apology. And how about directing this to the woman you insulted?” Fox News reporter Kassy Dillon responded.
“A simple heart-felt ‘I’m terribly sorry’ would do profoundly more than an artful-dodge cya Tweet,” author David Zailer concurred.
“‘This morning I said that a female presidential candidate was not in her prime. It was wrong. I apologize to @NikkiHaley and any other woman who was rightly offended.’ There. Fixed it for you,” conservative radio host Elisha Krauss tweeted.
Lemon, 56, had already triggered widespread social media uproar earlier Thursday after claiming on “CNN This Morning” that Haley, 51, had passed her heyday.
His remarks were in response to Haley calling for mental competency tests for politicians over the age of 75 as she kicked off her presidential campaign in South Carolina on Wednesday.
“This whole talk about age makes me uncomfortable,” Lemon told his bewildered CNN co-hosts, Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins.
“I think it’s the wrong road to go down. She says people, you know, politicians are suddenly not in their prime. Nikki Haley isn’t in her prime.”
He later added: “A woman is considered to be in their prime in [their] 20s and 30s and maybe 40s.”
After Harlow, 40, called him out over his remarks, Lemon doubled down by claiming he wasn’t stating his personal beliefs.
“That’s not according to me. It’s like, prime. If you look it up. If you Google when is a woman in her prime, it’ll say 20s, 30s and 40s,” he said.
“I’m just saying Nikki Haley should be careful about saying that politicians are not in their prime and they need to be in their prime when they serve. Because she wouldn’t be in her prime according to, you know, Google.”
Haley — a former US Ambassador to the United Nations — quickly ripped the CNN host, accusing him of being sexist.
“Liberals can’t stand the idea of having competency tests for older politicians to make sure they can do the job. [By the way] it’s always the liberals who are the most sexist,” she fired off in a tweet.
Others were also quick to pile on, with many accusing the former primetime host of being sexist and politically biased.
“This is one of the most sexist things a ‘news host’ has said in recent memory, but nothing will happen to Don Lemon, of course,” conservative commentator Ben Shapiro tweeted.
“If a Fox News host said this, Don Lemon would call for them to be fired,” Post columnist Karol Markowicz tweeted.