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Don Lemon Excoriates Steve King: He’s Felt ‘Emboldened’ to Say ‘Straight-Up Hateful’ Things

Speaking on his show on Friday night, CNN’s Don Lemon addressed the controversy surrounding Rep. Steve King after he questioned why terms like white nationalist were offensive.

Despite the backlash, King was not contrite.

Lemon noted that King’s remarks were part of a long pattern of racist comments from the Congressman, comments that the GOP seems to tolerate.

He added: “We have to talk about his long history of frankly racist comments. And we have to talk about why his party tolerates it.”

He then asked: “Why do Republicans tolerate it? The GOP is where it is today because the party chose to go down this road, playing to racists and xenophobes, demonizing immigrants, allowing a manufactured crisis at the border to shut down our government. When you do that, what you get is someone like Congressman King, someone who feels emboldened to use language that’s not a dog whistle. It’s straight-up hateful.”

Lemon next played a clip of King addressing his remarks on the House floor and claiming he was misquoted before noting that King was sounding “an awful lot like he is trying to paint himself as a victim.”

He then detailed a laundry list of King’s most infamous remarks, such as talking about children of migrants with cantaloupe calves and saying you can’t restore civilization with somebody else’s babies.

He also read a rebuke of King from a member of his own party as published by the Washington Post.

“When people with opinions similar to King’s open their mouths, they damage not only the Republican Party and the conservative brand but also our nation as a whole,” Sen. Tim Scott wrote. “They want to be treated with fairness for some perceived slights but refuse to return the favor to those on the other side.”

“Bravo, Senator Scott. You are absolutely right,” Lemon lauded. “You can’t have it both ways.”

The CNN host then said this: “You can’t argue for a wall to keep migrants out without being accused of racism. And when it comes to the wall, Congressman King has out-Trumped Trump.”

He then stressed, “This is the direction the GOP chose.”

Watch above, via CNN.

[image via screengrab]

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