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CNN Panel Clashes Over Trump’s Racial Rhetoric Aimed at Obama: Obama Not ‘Victimless Here’

A CNN panel heated up Monday morning after Marc Short, the former White House director of legislative affairs, defendedĀ Donald Trump‘s racial rhetoric in the run-up to the midterms.

On CNN’s New Day, host John Berman aired a video of Trump emphasizing the “H” in former President Barack Obama‘s name, which stands for Hussein.

“That’s just stoking racial fears about Barack Hussein Obama, which is something that Hillary Clinton and her team did, by the way, when they first faced Obama,” CNN’s David Gregory said. “Unfortunately, when it’s using racially incendiary language, or anti-immigration language, it’s reaching people.”

Short, who served in the Trump White House, defended the president by accusing Obama of similar rhetoric: “I don’t think that Barack Obama’s really the victim here, I think he’s taken the gloves off too in a pretty unprecedented manner for a former president.”

When pressed on what Trump was doing by emphasizing Obama’s middle name, Short replied: “I think we know what he’s doing. He’s part entertaining the crowd, he’s part trying to remind people his name is Hussein.”

“This is the nature of where we are right now, it’s not as if Barack Obama is victimless here,” Short added.

“And what incendiary, toxic language is Barack Obama using?” host Alisyn Camerota asked.

Short cited Obama’s statement that the Trump administration has racked up an impressive number of indictments.

The panel then clashed over whether Trump’s rhetoric is racist, with Nina Turner calling it “flat-out racist” and Short contending that Trump has black staffers.

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