CNN’s Don Lemon declared President Trump a racist and called it a fact on Monday during a contentious panel about the president’s jabs toward people of color.
The panel featured Lemon; Charles Blow, an opinion columnist for Politico; Steve Cortes, former Trump campaign adviser; and Annie Karni, Politico’s White House reporter. Cortes was arguing that Trump’s criticisms have been of people of a variety of races.
“How about the way he criticizes people like Chuck Todd and Joe Scarborough, if you want to go into the realm of media. So white men are very frequently the targets of really serious barbs from this president. He does not seem to hold back regardless of gender or ethnicity at all,” Cortes stated. “In all of the other cases, these are people that come at him first. If you first call the president a racist, which is totally unfounded, he is going to counterpunch.”
“You didn’t [attack him] that night, but, Don, you have called him a racist, I would say half the times I’ve watched your show,” Cortes continued. “So don’t say that’s not a punch. That is a punch to the throat of the president, and he counterpunches back at you, and I think that’s totally fair,” he added. (RELATED: CNN’s Don Lemon Reveals How Trump’s Insult Made Him Feel)
“A statement of fact is not an attack. Really? I just gave you all the evidence,” Lemon responded. “How much more evidence do you need? How much more evidence do you need? Being a racist does not mean walking down the street calling people the n-word. It is what you do in your practice. It is what you say, it is how you treat people, it is who you hang out with, it is what comes out of your mouth.”
The CNN host continued, “It’s not active like, oh, my gosh, you catch someone in the act being racist. You judge people on their lives, on their action. And that’s what I’ve judged from the facts. And know this administration and his supporters is fact-challenged, but all you have to do is look at the facts.”