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Axios reporter apparently given the ax after calling press release on DeSantis roundtable 'propaganda'

Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Axios has reportedly given the ax to reporter Ben Montgomery, who recently described a Florida press release as "propaganda."

On Monday, Florida Department of Education communications director Alex Lanfranconi posted a screenshot of Montgomery's response to press release email — the screenshot shows that the release was headlined, "Governor Ron DeSantis Hosts Roundtable Exposing the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Scam in Higher Education."

"This is propaganda, not a press release," Montgomery asserted in his terse response.

The Washington Post reported that Montgomery described the press release as having "no substance" and as "a series of quotes about how bad DEI was."

"This reporter is no longer with Axios. Out of respect for our employees, we do not discuss conditions of departure," Axios editor in chief Sara Kehaulani Goo informed Fox News Digital.

Charlotte Klein of Vanity Fair declared in a tweet on Wednesday that Axios had fired Montgomery on Monday due to the email.

"Some personal news: I made crepes this morning for the first time in years. Strawberry compote and whipped cream. They were delicious," Montgomery wrote when retweeting Klein's post.

According to Fox News Digital, Montgomery said that his criticism of the press release was not due to partisan politics. "It just wasted my time," he told the outlet, which also reported that he said he does not regret the message because his daughters said that they were proud. "That’s really all that matters," Montgomery said, according to Fox News Digital.

"I regret being so short," Montgomery said, according to Fox News Digital. "In the style of Axios, I used smart brevity and it cost me."

"It might seem like a little thing for a guy in Tampa, Fla., to be out of a job for a minute," Montgomery said, according to the Post. "But this has ripple effects for an administration that’s really had their way with the press and run roughshod over a lot of people — good people."

DeSantis is widely viewed as a figure who may mount a presidential bid, and while he has not done so yet, GOP Rep. Chip Roy of Texas went ahead and issued a full-throated endorsement suggesting that the Sunshine State governor should be the 2024 Republican presidential nominee and the nation's next president.

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