Don Lemon was rendered almost speechless after a “surprisingly candid admission” from President Donald Trump at a Houston rally.
The CNN anchor seemed shocked by Trump’s description of himself as a “nationalist” while at a rally to support Texas Sen. Ted Cruz on Monday, and he naturally turned it into a race issue.
“Wow,” Lemon said after a moment of shock and laughter. “We’re gonna talk about that word tonight. It is a favorite of the alt-right and is loaded with nativist and racial undertones.”
Speaking about “radical Democrats” who, according to the president, want to “restore the rule of corrupt, power-hungry globalists,” Trump described the term to the Houston crowd on Monday.
“You know what a globalist is? A globalist is a person that wants the globe to do well, frankly, not caring about our country so much,” Trump said. “And you know what, we can’t have that.”
He then went on to explain a word he said was “not supposed” to be used.
“You know, they have a word. It sort of became old-fashioned. It’s called a nationalist,” he said. “And I say really, we’re not supposed to use that word. You know what I am? I am a nationalist. Use that word.”
Lemon was having a hard time wrapping his head around the president’s remarks.
“Well, globalist has been used as a slur of sorts, sometimes even against those in the administration, often with anti-semitic overtones. Which just happened to make the president come right out and embrace nationalism. Openly. And claim that mantle,” Lemon said. “What has happened here?”
The CNN host took the discussion to his panel, turning first to New York Times columnist Frank Bruni.
“You should have seen Frank’s reaction when he heard the president say ‘I’m a nationalist.’ Frank, the president laying this out, admitting he is a nationalist, asking us to call him that. What are the implications of that?” Lemon asked.
Bruni wondered if using the word was a kind of “dog whistle,” but pointed out that Trump is a “sloppy speaker.”
“Well, I mean, the question is, is that a dog whistle? He’s a sloppy speaker. So when he says nationalist, is he thinking of all those connotations you just mentioned or is he speaking sloppily?” Bruni replied.
“So when he says ‘nationalist,’ is he thinking of all those connotations you just mentioned or is he speaking sloppily?” he continued. “He’s saying things that aren’t true as well. He’s saying ‘globalist’ means you care more about the globe than the country. No, President Trump. Globalist means you understand that our fate is entwined with the fates of other countries and that in fact a rising tide lifts all boats. That’s what globalist means to someone who’s being serious about it…. He’s trying do the ‘America first’ thing and he’s trying to lend a new vocabulary to it. Now he’s brought in nationalist. And maybe it’s a dog whistle to races and such. Maybe he’s just speaking sloppily.”
After some more psychological analysis of Trump and his vocabulary by the panel, CNN contributor Michael D’Antonio opened up in a full verbal assault on the president.
Trump “has always been a kind of depraved presence on the American landscape. This is a man who’s always been a liar. He’s always been a cheat. He’s always been a racist. And he’s always been someone who foments fear,” he said. “So what he’s doing now is just a rerun of what he’s always done.
But Lemon’s focus on the “alt-right” and “racial undertones” of Trump’s remarks was slammed on social media where Twitter users shredded him for his small vocabulary and CNN’s predictable rhetoric.
Last night Trump called himself a nationalist, which is sure to provoke the media left to once again accuse him of fascism. Yet Gandhi was a nationalist, as were Mandela, Ho Chi Minh, Fidel Castro, Winston Churchill and Abraham Lincoln. Nationalism by itself is not fascism
— Dinesh D'Souza (@DineshDSouza) October 23, 2018
Every word President Trumps says is racist to you.
— Dawn (@dawnrenay) October 23, 2018
Says somebody who hears such overtones when vanilla ice cream and white chocolate are mentioned.
— Jack Hipp (@jaywhip) October 23, 2018
Trump calls himself a “nationalist,” not a globalist.
CNN’s Don Lemon responds by saying both “nationalist” and “globalist” are racist words.https://t.co/CSucY35Kll
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) October 23, 2018
loyalty and devotion to a nation
especially : a sense of national consciousness exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations or supranational groups
— Adelchi Salvati (@AdelchiSalvati) October 23, 2018
yeah, we know the last president we had before Trump didn’t even LIKE America. But loving America is a necessary requirement for the job, and necessary to do the job well. LOVE AMERICA #LoveAmerica
— BlurredEdges (@muchmoresalt) October 23, 2018
— technotruthbot (@frankiecarbone9) October 23, 2018
Being a nationalist is not racist. Standing up for your own country is not racist.
Get a life, Don Lemonhead.
— Paige Lawrence (@SAInfowarrior) October 23, 2018
Im with Trump, i am a nationalist because like President Trump, i care more about my own country than others pic.twitter.com/ZPUeGvXjkX
— plasma1 (@plasma1) October 23, 2018
Definitely! The fake news cabal would have you believing that putting America first is a bad thing. Not!
— Darlene (@Darlene98431917) October 23, 2018
@donlemon just google the definition of nationalist. No where in the definition does it say racist or white supremacy or anything like that at all. Are you not a nationalist??? Do you know have pride in your country?? If not than get out. Stop trying to make everything about race
— James Cato (@JamesCato98) October 23, 2018
@donlemon @realDonaldTrump Trump saying “I’m a Nationalist” over a globalist is bad!?!? Being FOR America over anything else is bad? Putting America first is bad? Having American pride is bad?
You guys have completely lost your mind at @CNN. #FakeNewsMedia
— Jared LeClaire (@JaredLeClaire15) October 23, 2018
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