Asked whether it would be accurate to describe his departure as a firing, a Squire Patton Boggs spokesman reiterated that the â€œfirmâ€™s leadership decided to part ways with Senator Lott.â€
Lott did not respond to a request for comment.
Lott represented Mississippi in Congress for more than three decades, first in the House and then in the Senate. He rose to become Senate majority leader but stepped down from leadership after he praised former Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.) in 2002, drawing widespread criticism and a rebuke from President George W. Bush.
”I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him,â€ Lott said at a 100th birthday party for Thurmond, who ran for president in 1948 on segregationist platform. â€œWe’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years, either.”
Lott apologized days later for what he described as â€œa poor choice of wordsâ€ that â€œconveyed to some that I embraced the discarded policies of the past.â€ He resigned from the Senate in 2007 and started a lobbying firm with former Sen. John Breaux (D-La.).
The pair landed at Squire Patton Boggs a decade ago, and Breaux remains with the firm. Lott lobbied for clients including Nissan, SpaceX, UnitedHealth, Airlines for America, United Technologies and the National Association of Broadcasters in the first quarter of this year, according to disclosure filings.
Squire Patton Boggs wouldnâ€™t say whether Lottâ€™s comments about Thurmond contributed to his firing. But the firm was promoting Lott as a leader of its lobbying team as recently as last year.
After Squire Patton Boggs hired former Reps. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) and Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) last year, the firm tweeted a photo of the pair with Lott, Breaux and former House Speaker John Boehner. â€œThe new-look #TeamSPB public policy practice,â€ the firm wrote.