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Chris Cuomo Presses Hakeem Jeffries on Trump ‘Grand Wizard’ Comments: ‘Why Back Off?’

During an interview on Wednesday on CNN, Chris Cuomo pressed Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) about his controversial remarks calling President Donald Trump the “Grand Wizard of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.”

“We have a hater in the White House. The birther-in-chief, the grand wizard of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,” Jeffries said on Martin Luther King Day.

Cuomo then played a second clip of Jeffries claiming his remarks did not imply he thinks Trump was an actual,  card-carrying member of the Klan.

Wolf Blitzer in the past has asked me whether I believe the president is a racist and I have consistently said no,” Jeffries is heard saying in the second clip. “I did use a colorful phrase, but of course, I don’t believe that the president is a card-carrying member of the KKK.”

Cuomo then asked what he thought he was going for calling Trump the grand wizard.

“I do not believe that Donald Trump is a card-carrying member of the KKK. However, he does have a long and inappropriate history of racially inflammatory behavior,” he said, before listing a long list of actions Trump has done that raise racism flags.

Cuomo then pressed Jeffries on why he just didn’t just “own it and say I said it.”

“Why back off at all?” Cuomo asked.

“I have been clear that I have no regrets about making the analogy that I made because I think we need to have a candid discussion about race at least on Martin Luther King Day and sometimes that discussion will be uncomfortable,” Jeffries replied. “But I also understand that many people throughout this country are of the view that we should give the president the benefit of the doubt, any president including this one and I do believe in redemption. ”

Watch above, via CNN

 

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