CNN anchor Don Lemon made sweeping allegations that Americans who voted for President Donald Trump stood with “the Klan” and “Nazis” on Wednesday.
The CNN host made the remarks during an exchange with fellow network anchor Chris Cuomo. Cuomo asked Lemon to respond to assertions that people who voted for Trump should not be lumped together with rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol last week, many of whom are being hunted by federal authorities for a wide range of criminal charges.
“Now what you hear is, ‘Well, you can’t say that everybody who voted for Trump is like the people who went into the Capitol.’ Response?” Cuomo asked.
“If you are on that side, you need to think about the side you are on. I am never on the side of the Klan. Principled people, conservative or liberal, never on the Klan’s side. Principled people, conservative or liberal, never on the Nazi’s side,” Lemon responded, lumping together over 74 million Americans who voted to re-elect the president with white supremacists and Nazis.
“Principled people, conservative or liberal, never on the side that treats their fellow Americans as less than, that says that your fellow Americans should not exist. That says your fellow Americans should be in a concentration camp, or sides with slavery, or sides with any sort of bigotry,” Lemon added.
Cuomo then prodded: “Right, and if they say, ‘I don’t agree with those people, I just like Trump’s policies?’
“Well then get out of the crowd with them. Get out of the crowd with them,” Lemon responded. “You’re in the crowd who voted for Trump. If you voted for Trump, you voted for the person who the Klan supported. You voted for the person who Nazis support. You voted for the person who the alt-right supports. That’s the crowd that you are in.”
“You voted for the person who incited a crowd to go into the Capitol and potentially take the lives of lawmakers, took the lives of police officers, took the lives, innocent lives who were there on the Capitol that day,” Lemon continued. “You voted on that side and the people in Washington are continuing to vote on that side.”
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) January 14, 2021
While both hosts have condemned the Capitol riot that took place last week by Trump supporters, the CNN anchors have used their platforms to excuse to some extent the actions of Black Lives Matter rioters that burned and looted businesses and police stations throughout the summer. During an exchange on Tuesday, they agreed that the Black Lives Matter riots were more justified than the Capitol riot last week.
“You can’t compare what happened this summer to what happened at the Capitol. It’s two different things,” Lemon said. “One is built on people, on racial justice, on criminal justice, right, on reform, on police not beating up – or police treating people of color differently than they do whites. Okay? That is not a lie. Those are facts. Go look at them. What happened at the Capitol was built on a lie perpetrated by the president and the people who support him.”
Cuomo said that people “get that it’s not apples to apples.”
“What it is, is a reflection of the truth, of what is happening in this country,” he continued. “Which is there are people who don’t care, who don’t like what was done, who don’t believe that black people are justified, and it’s why last week happened. And we can get angry too.”