CNN’s Don Lemon Confronts Pastor Over Trump Meeting: ‘Why Should Anyone Take You Seriously?’


CNN’s Don Lemon confronted Reverend Bill Owens on meeting with President Donald Trump following his widely condemned attack on Baltimore and its Congressman, Elijah Cummings. Owens, the president of the coalition of African-American pastors, on Monday attended a meeting between Trump and a group of inner-city pastors.

Lemon kicked off the interview by asking if any of the faith leaders raised concerns about the president’s attacks on “leaders of color.”

“I think something was said in passing,” Owens replied, though he tried to avoid addressing Trump’s remarks.

Lemon pressed, asking his question again. When Owens again dodged.

“So the president tweeted today he was looking forward to his meeting with wonderful inner-city pastors. Any concern for you that the president used this meeting with black leaders to insulate himself from the criticism?” Lemon asked.

“I don’t think so. I don’t think that at all because I have been to the White House four times in five months,” Owens said. “There was nothing about insulating from anything. He wanted to hear from us, what our concerns were and what he could do to help us.”

Lemon noted that Owens has “said some controversial things before” including in 2012 when he compared President Barack Obama’s support for same sex marriage to condoning child molestation (comments Owens walked back).

“That in itself is an outrageous statement — why should anyone take you seriously?” Lemon asked.

Owens reaffirmed his position that same sex marriage is “ungodly.”

Lemon moved on: “So I know it’s hard for you, you think it’s hard to believe that Trump is racist. But he’s repeatedly used racially charged language. He consistently attacks black and brown elected leaders. So, why is that hard to believe, pastor?”

“I find President Trump leader of all colors. He attacks who he will. He’s his own man. I can’t dictate what he should or shouldn’t do. But he does not just attack black people. He attacks anybody, and you know it,” Owens replied.

“So as a man of faith, as a Christian you’re saying he attacks anyone. It sounds like you’re condoning attacks? Is that Christianly or Godly?” Lemon asked.

“I’m just stating a statement of fact,” Owens said. “I’m not condoning anything. I’m stating a statement of fact. President Trump does not pick the people he attacks because of color. He attacks anybody he feels needs it.”

“And is that okay with you?” Lemon pressed.

“Well I’m not his judge,” Owens said.

Watch above, via CNN.

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Aidan McLaughlin is the Editor of Mediaite. Send tips via email: Ask for Signal. Follow him on Twitter: @aidnmclaughlin