Don Lemon grabbed headlines breaking down Monday night after reading his own “open” letter to President Donald Trump and the widow of La David Johnson, who was one of four soldiers killed during the ISIS ambush in Niger earlier this month.
“Today, when I woke up and saw the emotional interview with grieving gold-star widow my heart was broken like most of you,” Lemon said at the top of his CNN primetime show.” And then a moment later the president tweeted and I was shocked. I felt compelled to write an open letter to President Trump and I want to share that letter with you right now.”
As he began reading, CNN put up a banner:
“Read Don’s Open Letter to the President at CNN.com.”
Lemon apologized after the commercial break, when he choked up discussing his letter with a panel. Lemon also had booked Newsmax CEO/Trump pal Christopher Ruddy, so Lemon could kick off that one-on-one asking Ruddy why Trump can’t “let this go.”
“Why can’t you?” Ruddy shot back.
From Lemon’s letter:
Dear Mr. President,
I’ve interviewed you multiple times.You’ve introduced me to your family.You’ve also criticized me publicly … both in front of cameras and on Twitter.
Calling me “hateful,” “dumb,” a “lightweight.”Some of your friends have suggested you expected better of me.I’m not sure why you’d expect anything other than fairness and facts first.We know you get a lot of your news from TV.Several of your friends and supporters have told me you watch this show.So, since I have this platform, I’d like to speak to you personally right now.I feel compelled to after this latest controversy with the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson.Your tweet this morning essentially called her a liar.Mr. Trump, please stop it. Please stop!Think of what Sgt. Johnson would want. You are putting his widow in the terrible position of having to fight for her dignity when she should be concentrating on taking care of herself, her health, her two children, and the one on the way.I know you have children — and two daughters.Can you imagine Ivanka or Tiffany in Myeshia’s shoes?Having a fight with the commander in chief while they are pregnant and grieving?If Myeshia Johnson is mad at you, take it.Just as President Bush and others did.Take it.It’s part of what YOU signed up for when you decided to descend that escalator and throw your hat in the ring for president.You’re commander in chief, the President of the United States of America, the greatest country on Earth.Act like it.Act like you know that you’re big enough not to have to win every fight or respond to every criticism.Act like you know where the high road is.Confident and secure people ask for help, and for forgiveness.Insecure people think they know everything and need no help.And think about this: The only Gold Star families you have attacked are people of color. How does that look?Apologize.And I’ll end with some words to help you do that. You are welcome to use them.And now I’m going to speak directly to Myeshia Johnson, as you should.”