NHL, Canes deny ex-Trump staffer's firing claim

by 24USATVJan. 14, 2021, 1 a.m. 18
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The NHL and the Carolina Hurricanes deny that they pressured a private airline company to fire a former campaign staffer for President Donald Trump.

Dawson Buchanan, a travel coordinator for Trump's reelection campaign, claimed in a Twitter thread on Tuesday that he was fired by Private Jet Services when "the NHL found out I worked for the Trump campaign and threatened to cancel the contract with PJS unless they fired me."

Buchanan said he was going to be a travel concierge with the Carolina Hurricanes, a client of Private Jet Services.

"Instead of standing up for me, instead of explaining to the NHL that I, as a person, am not solely defined by my previous work on the Trump campaign, they fired me for their own company's financial gain," said Buchanan, who had used his social media to support overturning the 2020 presidential election results and said he attended the Jan. 6 protest at the U.S. Capitol.

When asked about Buchanan's allegations, an NHL spokesperson told ESPN that they were "categorically untrue" and that "until this news broke, we had never heard of him."

"The Carolina Hurricanes rely on PJS to hire staff for our air travel," the team said in a statement. "Until Mr. Buchanan's social media posts Tuesday night, the Hurricanes knew nothing about him. We will not be commenting further."

According to an executive at Private Jet Services, "Mr. Buchanan was never an employee of our company, ever, at any time" and "the story was a complete fabrication."

The executive confirmed that the company had worked with Buchanan when he was an operations associate for Trump campaign headquarters and had explored the possibility of hiring him as a plane concierge. But he said that the training for such a position is monthslong and thus the timeline wouldn't have worked out to bring Buchanan on for the start of the season.

Buchanan has not responded to a request for comment.

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