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CNN Guest: Trump Supporters ‘Painted Themselves’ as Racist, Homophobic Before Jussie Smollett Case

A CNN panel on actor Jussie Smollett’s alleged staged hate crime became lively this morning as the New Day crowd debated the political and cultural ramifications of the incident.

“This is an actor who was faining this attack, trying to get more money for his salary, that’s a separate conversation from what’s happening in society at large and the divide is happening in this country with as John said hate crimes being on the rise,” The Beat founder Tiffany Cross told the panel. “They rose 30 percent again recently, 7 percent in 2018 alone, and most of these groups are white supremacists groups.”

“But if had is true, didn’t Jussie conflate the story? Didn’t he bring this forward and force people to have the conversation?” CNN contributor Nischelle Turner shot back. “And if it is true, didn’t he, in fact, attempt to paint MAGA supporters as these racist and homophobic people?”

Cross replied by “respectfully” disagreeing, saying instead that “MAGA supporters have painted themselves as that” — i.e., racist and homophobic.

“When you look at footage and hear what they say there are is the honest to goodness truth and we have to be bold enough to call that out,” she added.

CNN host Alisyn Camerota suggested Cross used “a broad brush stroke” to paint all Trump supporters as malicious.

“Can I say one thing?” Co-host John Berman interjected. “We need to make crystal clear if the Chicago police are right, no one in a MAGA hat did this.”

CNN’s Van Jones then made a call for Americans to acknowledge when their political side is wrong:

“We can’t actually say sometimes my team is right, I think my team is right 99 perecent of the time but the 1 percent time we’re wrong, done. That doesn’t mean I’m for the MAGA crowd. No one’s been tougher on hate crimes and racism than me. But I’m also not going to be — I’m not going to let our movements for justice become tools for people who are up to no good.”

Watch above, via CNN.

[image via screengrab]

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Caleb Ecarma is a reporter at Mediaite. Email him here: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter here: @calebecarma