Don Lemon Pushes Back on Cuomo Comparing Clinton, Trump Impeachment Scandals: ‘That’s a False Equivalence’


During their show handoff, CNN hosts Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo got into a pointed disagreement over the partisan behavior during the Bill Clinton and Donald Trump impeachment scandals, with Lemon calling out his 9:00pm predecessor for analogizing the two: “I think that’s a false equivalence.”

Before the two CNN hosts shared the screen, Cuomo had just wrapped up a long segment talking to Trump’s personal attorney, Jay Sekulow. Almost immediately, Lemon not so subtly questioned Cuomo’s choice of guest by citing a Jay-Z diss track lyric: ” A wise man once told me never argue with fools because people at a distance can’t tell who’s who.”

But I’ll tell you what. I’ll tell you a few things,” Cuomo replied after laughing at the reference. “You know my position on this. You’ve got to hear the arguments that could beat you.” As Cuomo went on to defend having Sekulow on his show, Lemon’s wearied expression betrayed his obvious skepticism. 

“If you are going to need people to protect you from your own lying self, then perhaps you should not be in that position. So that’s where I stand on that,” Lemon said. “[Sekulow] may be a great lawyer, may be everything you said is right about a lawyer, but I think people sitting at home — I think people are like — where are we right now?”

“Remember, we’ve lived through this before,” Cuomo countered. “Bill Clinton redefining the word ‘is,’ lied under oath. There’s a whole impeachment process. All the Democrats were yelling that it was a coup. Now everybody has changed sides, and that’s the biggest…”

“I think that’s a false equivalence. I don’t think that that is — I don’t think it’s the same thing,” Lemon cut in. “Listen, lying is not right, especially when you’re the President of the United States. But you have to think about what man or what person would want someone to know that they were having an extramarital affair. It has been said that this president did not want his current wife to know that he was having an extramarital affair.”

“Yeah, I don’t care about the context,” Cuomo shot back. “I’m saying the parties played the same game, Don. They just played them in reverse.”

“Well, not really, because they’re talking about two different things,” Lemon pointed out. “[Trump] is accused of using his office to benefit himself in a way that is detrimental to the country. It had nothing to do with your own personal failings as a man and not necessarily your personal failings in office,” he added, referring to Clinton. “Those are two different things. They’re both bad. They’re both bad, but they’re not equal if you understand, if you get my drift.”

“I totally understand. It’s not a subtle point,” Cuomo said firmly, before defending again his decision to bring on Trump’s attorney. “But we have to find ways to make it relevant to them because this process really matters.”

Watch the video above, via CNN.

Have a tip we should know?

Filed Under: