CNN’s Don Lemon Says He Wouldn’t Accept Trump’s Handshake at Bush Funeral: ‘I Can’t Fake the Funk’


CNN host Don Lemon explained that he couldn’t shake hands with President Donald Trump had he been in Barack Obama’s shoes yesterday, when the two former presidents warmly greeted each other at George H.W. Bush’s funeral.

“I’m going to say that I don’t think I would shake hands with him,” Lemon said as he and fellow host Chris Cuomo riffed during the handoff between CNN’s 9 and 10 p.m. timeslots. “Nope, couldn’t do it. I’m not that big a person. I would hope that I would be, but I don’t — I can’t fake the funk, as they say.”

In the awkward scene referenced by the two, Trump can be seen walking into a church aisle where the Obamas and Clintons are seated as well. The president shook hands with the Obamas, who were closest to him, but no greeting was exchanged between him and the nearby Clintons.

Lemon went on to say the Obamas “showed the ultimate respect for the office” by not violating it with inappropriate comments, ethics violations, and other scandals.

“They do not have to show respect for someone who does not respect them,” he added.

Lemon then waved over one of his producers and played out what he would do with a Trump handshake.

“Let me show you what I would have done. Come here, Don,” he said, before his producer reached out to shake hands, just to have Lemon turn and stare him down but never greet him.

“That’s not petty and small, that’s real brother,” Lemon said.  That’s real.”

He concluded his comments on the subject by explaining the “office is not a human being,” so Trump is not guaranteed any respect.

“I don’t think it’s respect for the human being if you talk smack about them, if you say the nastiest things about them, if you treat them as subhuman, and then you want to show up at their funeral. Really? Hell to the no.”

Watch above, via CNN.

[image via screengrab]

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Caleb Ecarma was a reporter at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter here: @calebecarma