Cornel West Slams Trump Surrogate Paris Dennard: ‘Why Are You Defending a Liar?’
Paris Dennard already appeared for one heated debate on CNN today, but he returned later to face off with Cornel West for a discussion about President Trump and Charlottesville. It was quite the collision.
As West talked about his participation in the counter-protests, he eventually blasted Trump for having no “moral credibility” and fueling racial division across the country. Anderson Cooper followed this by asking Dennard about why Trump has a recurring tendency to avoid directly condemning his white nationalist supporters until he’s forced to do so under political pressure.
As Cooper and Dennard debated Trump’s response to Charlottesville and his support from white supremacists, West interjected that Dennard was “checkmated” by the facts, and Trump is a lier. When West invoked the death of Heather Heyer and accused Dennard of defending Trump “in order to keep his job,” the sparring match promptly began.
Here’s a rough transcript of the cross-talk:
Dennard: Dr. West, please don’t insinuate that I wasn’t raised correctly, and please don’t insinuate when you don’t have the facts about who employs me.
West: “If you’re going to lie, you’re going to lie for the president. He’s lying.”
Dennard: “Dr. West, I am not employed by Donald Trump. I’m not employed by the White House. I have…”
West: “Then why are you defending a liar? Why defend the liar in general?”
Dennard: I’m not defending a liar.
West: “He’s lying when he said he didn’t know about David Duke.”
Dennard: “Well I don’t know that to be true…”
West continued to decry Trump for his “neo-fascist sensibilities” and fueling hostility against minority groups. Dennard, for his part, continued to applaud Trump for taking a strong stance and expanding on his initial “many sides” address on Charlottesville.
Watch above, via CNN.
[Image via screengrab]
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