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Don Lemon Rips Cortes for Defending Trump’s Prayer Rug Tweet: ‘Steve, That is Not True’

On Friday night, CNN’s Don Lemon called out Trump supporter Steve Cortes for claiming that people from around the world are sneaking into the United States via the nation’s southern border because it is so porous.

Cortes’ comments were in response to a tweet by President Donald Trump — which was itself based on a Washington Examiner report — about a rancher who claims she found a prayer rug near the border.

As Lemon noted after playing the Examiner’s clip, “the rancher says flat out she has no proof” of her claims.

He then asked Cortes if Trump should have amplified the story in light of the fact the whole story was based on speculation.

Cortes responded by noting the president did not say “terrorist.”

He continued on:

“What he said is there’s prayer rugs, and the way I take that is it is surprising and shocking. There are very few Muslims in Latin America, that people are coming from all over the world and coming across our porous southern border. That’s not just my opinion by the way. The Laredo station of Customs and Border protection tells us over 600 Bangladeshis at that single station — that’s literally the other side of the globe, were caught crossing there. We have no idea how many weren’t caught crossing. What does that tell us? It tells us that the world knows that the place to cross easily into the United States is our southern border because it’s undefended and it’s porous.”

“Steve, that is not true,” Lemon shot back. “An administration official has told CNN…”

Cortes then asked Lemon “what part” is not true.

Lemon replied: “You’re saying there’s no innuendo. What does that mean when you say prayer rugs? No one said, oh, my gosh, I found a crucifix. Oh, my gosh, look, there’s a crucifix at the southern border because that means Catholics or people could be coming over from Spain, right? No one said any of that. And to pretend that there’s not some innuendo, some xenophobic innuendo that they found prayer rugs…”

Cortes insisted it is really a matter of “geography” not xenophobia before lecturing about assuming Trump is a racist.

When you “start with the conclusion that the president is a racist, like BuzzFeed started with the conclusion that he colluded with Russia, well, guess what? Then you find evidence that somehow, some way fits your narrative, and that’s not journalism,” Cortes said.

Cortes was, of course, talking at Buzzfeed’s report that Trump order Michael Cohen to lie in front of Congress.

In a rare statement, the Special Counsel disputed the accuracy of some parts of that report.

Watch above, via CNN

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