“I have hired no illegal immigrants,” former CNN anchor Lou Dobbs said in an interview on Thursday Night on “The Last Word” with Lawrence O’Donnell airing on MSNBC. “You have no evidence whatsoever that I ever hired an illegal immigrant either personally or through one of my companies.”

Dobbs was responding to an explosive report published online earlier in the day by the left-leaning magazine The Nation, which claims that Dobbs, a staunch opponent of illegal immigration, relied on undocumented workers to help maintain his homes and help care for his daughter’s show horses.

Also featured on the program was TheNation.com reporter Isabel Macdonald, who defended her report.

“I don’t have evidence that you directly knowingly employed any undocumented worker," said Macdonald. "All I am saying is that they labored on your property. And the question I want you to answer is where does the buck stop, Lou?”

The Nation said its report is based on a yearlong investigation, including interviews with five immigrants who worked without papers on Dobbs' properties in New Jersey and Florida.
Macdonald accused Dobbs of not matching his actions to match his tough immigration reform rhetoric. “You can’t on the one hand criminalize these workers and, at the same time, exploit them. Lou Dobbs, you can’t have your cake and eat it too,” she said.

Dobbs will speak this weekend at the Virginia Tea Party Convention in Richmond, the first Tea Party gathering in that state, where he plans to talk about a “rational, effective, and humane immigration reform policy.”

Dobbs was host of a weeknight news and commentary hour on CNN until abruptly resigning last November after 29 years with the network. He continues to host a syndicated radio show.

The Associated Press contributed to this report