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Don Lemon to Cuomo’s Trump-Supporting Friends: ‘Why the Hell Are You Overlooking Racism So Much?’

CNN host Don Lemon challenged colleague Chris Cuomo for saying that Trump supporters that he knows aren’t bigots, asking of such people “Why the hell are you overlooking racism so much?”

During Tuesday night’s episode of Cuomo Primetime, Cuomo told freshly-minted CNN commentator John Kasich that “I have so many people in my life that voted for the president, support the president, they’re not bigots.”

During the toss to CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, Lemon challenged that assertion in what turned into a riveting debate segment.

“What we ignore, we empower. You just said that, right?” Lemon asked, to which Cuomo replied “Yes, sir.”

“Okay, I agree with you,” Lemon said. “And also, I know this is going to be controversial, so to challenge all the supporters of this president, when you said to John Kasich, ‘I know people who support Donald Trump, they’re not bigots,’ but for people who look like me, other minorities, women who have — well, let’s just leave this to race, this president has said and done so many insensitive and bigoted and racist things that if you support him, people like me want to understand why you ignored so much in order to support this man.”

Lemon added that “I don’t think, you know, every Trump supporter is a racist,” but added that “you certainly had to overlook racism and bigotry in order to make that decision. Now, then, maybe you made that decision in the voting booth. And then, now, even after all of this, if you still, in your mind, can support this person, why the hell are you overlooking racism so much? It is personal and even deadly to people like me. That is important.”

Cuomo responded that “this is a big moment for Trump supporters,” and said they should demand Trump speak out against Steve King‘s racist remarks.

“He consumes media like this compulsively,” Cuomo said, citing Trump’s claim not to have followed the King controversy. “You know, and he pays attention to the shows. He knows. That’s BS. It’s an excuse. He’s ducking it. Don’t let him. If you support the president, you should want him to come out on this, because it will give you the cover you want. To say, I don’t support a bigot. He’s not a bigot. Then where is he right now?”

Lemon let out a long laugh, and said, “Come on. Really? He’s not a bigot? I’ve already said, of course he is!”

The pair continued to debate the topic, with Cuomo concluding that “This is a moment for the president to step up,” and Lemon telling Cuomo “This is who we are. Maybe we should come back as dollar bills, people of color, and they would care more about racism.”

Watch the segment above, via CNN.

[image via screengrab]

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