In a 10-minute take-down that came in response to Trump’s tweet calling Lemon and NBA superstar LeBron James dumb, Lemon said the president’s “nasty, hateful swipe” is just the latest example of “one of the oldest canards of America’s racist past and present – that black people are of inferior intelligence.”
“Let me not mince words here,” Lemon said on CNN Tonight, looking directly into the camera and delivering his monologue with a steady, calm demeanor – “this president traffics in racism and is fueled by bullying.” (Watch the segment above).
Trump tweeted on Friday — though he denied watching Lemon interview James about the opening of James’ free school for at-risk youth in Akron, Ohio — that “Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn’t easy to do. I like Mike!”
During the interview, Lemon and James had criticized the president for trying to divide the nation.
Although Lemon had tweeted a short response following Trump’s tweet — “Who’s the real dummy? A man who puts kids in classrooms or one who puts kids in cages?” — he saved his full outrage for his CNN show Monday night.
Lemon said Trump’s bullying is apparent from “keeping children at the border in cages to bullying journalists at every one of his rallies and every chance he gets.”
“He divides by race and tries to conquer decency by smearing and besmirching the truth and the people who fight to uphold it,” Lemon said. He added that “This president constantly denigrates people of color and women.”
“Unlike this president who lashes out wildly at anyone who criticizes him, LeBron James — in addition to being a brilliant black man, a superstar in his sport, and a hero to his community — is taking the high road, which is exactly where he belongs.”
Watch Lemon’s response to Trump above.