CNN’s Don Lemon: College Bribery Scandal Affirms Trump Voter Fears Of A ‘Rigged System’

"The American dream is rigged."

CNN's Don Lemon speaks at Harvard University Kennedy School of Government Institute of Politics in a program titled 'Race, Media and Politics' on February 22, 2019 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Paul Marotta / Contributor / Getty Images
 

CNN's Don Lemon sees a connection between President Trump and the college admissions bribery scandal that has implicated two Hollywood stars, Lori Loughlin of "Full House" and Felicity Huffman of "Desperate Housewives."

 

Code-named "Operation Varsity Blues," Huffman and Loughlin were charged on Tuesday for participating in a massive bribery scheme designed to entice college administrators, coaches, and other university gatekeepers into admitting their children.

"In all, 33 parents — including Loughlin and Huffman — allegedly paid a collective sum of $25 million to a college admissions counselor named William Singer, according to ABC News, who then 'bribed college officials, coaches and college entrance exam administrators, who then helped students secure admissions 'not on their merits but through fraud,'" The Daily Wire's Emily Zanotti reported on Tuesday. "The FBI contends that Singer's bribes went to officials at some of the most elite colleges in the country."

CNN's Don Lemon feels that the scandal shows people are right to believe the "system is rigged against them," noting that President Trump tapped into that attitude in 2016, according to Fox News.

"This is what Donald Trump tapped into and in a lot of ways, guess what, he was right," Lemon said on his program.

Lemon reminded people that the president is a beneficiary of the rigged system, admitting that does not change the fact Trump delivered a timely message.

"A lot of people will point out, and they have every right to do so, that Donald Trump himself is a beneficiary of a system that’s rigged in favor of the elite," he said. "Let’s not forget The New York Times investigation that revealed at age three, Donald Trump was earning $200,000 a year in today’s dollars."

 

This talking point fails to grasp that many working-class voters resonated with Donald Trump not because he claimed to be one of them but because he promised to fight for them. His wealth or his childhood, none of which he hid from the viewing public, had little sway on voters' various opinions of him.

"He was a millionaire by age eight," Lemon continued. "Soon after he graduated from college, he was getting the equivalent of a million a year from his father."

Nevertheless, Lemon concedes that despite President Trump being a "questionable" messenger for the people's anger, people of all walks of life are rightly angry about rigged systems.

"All of that is true, but none of it changes the fact that for far too many people, the American dream is rigged," he said. "And he spoke to that. Maybe he’s questionable as the messenger for this, but it’s a message a lot of people feel in their core. Rigged in favor of the wealthy and the powerful. And a whole lot of people in this country on the left and on the right are angry about that."

 

The "rigged system" has even been employed in defense of Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin. On Tuesday, when the scandal first broke, Hollywood veteran David Mamet said the entire college admissions system has been a "corrupt joke" for some time, arguing that people should not be surprised that well-off parents are trying to spin it in their children's favor.

"I worked for very many years in and around our elite universities. I am able to report that their admissions policies are an unfortunate and corrupt joke," said Mamet. "Harvard was once sued for restricting the admission of qualified Jews; a [similar] contest is currently being waged by Asians."

So, either everyone's a victim of the "rigged system," or nobody is.

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