CNN’s Don Lemon argued Tuesday that President Donald Trump’s failure to condemn Republican Iowa Rep. Steve King was just further evidence of his bigotry. The anchor also said it posed a dilemma for Trump supporters as well, whom Lemon alleged had quietly allowed Trump’s racism in exchange for a tax cut.
“I think this is a big moment for Trump supporters,” Lemon’s colleague Chris Cuomo began, saying that King’s remarks about white supremacy deserved to be condemned and questioning the fact that the president had yet to make a statement about them.
“For those who support the president, this is a testing moment right now,” he said.
Cuomo continued, arguing that Trump’s supporters should be the ones calling for a response to King’s remarks. “If you support the president, you should want him to come out on this,” he said, “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 jumped in, saying the reason the president hadn’t condemned King was obvious to him.
“I know you say the president should be speaking out about this, he can’t,” Lemon said to Cuomo. “He can’t because the bigots and the racists support him. He does not want to lose their support. If he speaks out against Steve King, they’re going to think he’s not one of them again.”
He went on to claim that Trump supporters remained silent about the president’s bigotry because they liked tax cuts.
“Again, Trump supporter who’s overlooking some other bigoted, racist aspect of this president, for what?! You think you’re going to get a tax cut? How much? How much money is it worth to you that you have someone who is a racist in office? How much of a tax cut does it matter? There isn’t that much money in the world for me!”