CNN anchor Don Lemon is being hailed a hero by many on Twitter after he opened his broadcast Thursday night with a strong rebuke of President Donald Trump.
“The President of the United States is racist,” Lemon, 51, said at the opening of his CNN broadcast. “A lot of us already knew that.”
Lemon’s blunt statement came just hours after reports that Trump dismissed developing nations including Haiti, El Salvador and parts of Africa as “s–thole countries,” the Washington Post first reported Thursday afternoon.
(Trump denied the comment in a tweet Friday morning, writing that “the language used by me at the DACA meeting was tough, but this was not the language used.”)
Lemon, who has been targeted by Trump on Twitter, continued to speak frankly about the president’s reported comments on his broadcast Thursday, calling them “frankly disgusting” and noting that “they are not shocking, and not even really surprising — because this is who Donald Trump is. This is what he thinks.”
The journalist then directly addressed Trump supporters who might have been “taken aback” by Lemon’s own comments: “I don’t really care if you are — I hope you are.”
“For years, I and others have been trying to tell you, the American people, that this man was was exhibiting bigoted behavior,” he said. “How many examples do you need of this?”
Lemon then suggested that his supporters do some “self examination” to understand why they support the president and his agenda.
“What does it say about you that no matter what, no matter what, you continue to make excuses for this man, for his vile behavior. Doesn’t that make you just as bad if not worse than him?”
He further explained why he’s not “outraged” by Trump’s alleged comments: “Because people of color warned you.”
Social media users quickly slow-clapped for Lemon after his comments.
“This is amazing,” wrote one Twitter user.
“Don Lemon isn’t playing anymore & he shouldn’t be. None of us should.”