Don Lemon: Trump used race to divide us from the very beginning

Lemon reminded viewers that Trump's political career began with the lie that Barack Obama wasn't born in America.

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Less than two weeks after a violent mob that included groups of white supremacists stormed the U.S. Capitol in a deadly attempt to overthrow democracy, fueled by a lie they believe that the 2020 presidential election was stolen, allies of President Donald Trump shared messages of unity on the day America celebrates the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

The irony was not lost on CNN Tonight host Don Lemon , who criticized Trump supporters like Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany, who shared quotes from the iconic civil rights leader Monday on social media. 

Don Lemon speaks onstage in December 2019 during the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Hosts Ripple of Hope Gala & Auction in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for for Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights)

Lemon called out Republican figures like Vice President Mike Pence and First Daughter Ivanka Trump, who, he said, stood by “every racist attack” from the outgoing president, including that he recently sought to disenfranchise “millions of Americans, many of them voters of color,” by charging that their votes were somehow fraudulent. 

Many of Trump’s accusations of voter fraud targeted cities with large Black populations like Detroit, Philadelphia and Atlanta. 

“Those Republicans like Mike Pence, putting out 50 tweets quoting Dr. King’s words, can you believe it?” Lemon asked incredulously. “Like Mitch McConnell, who supported the president whose actions go against everything Dr. King stood for. Like Lindsey Graham, who allegedly called Georgia election officials to get them to throw out legal votes, including large numbers from black voters.”

“Ted Cruz, who even after the riot on Capitol Hill, still voted against certifying the electoral college vote,” he said. “Ivanka Trump, who called the rioters ‘American patriots,’ and then deleted the tweet.”

Read More: Trump defends America’s founding on slavery with ‘1776 report’

“One Republican after another,” Lemon continued, “apparently hoping that you’ll forget their support for a president who used race to pit Americans against each other.”

Lemon claimed that Trump used race to divide the nation “from the very beginning.” He noted that the outgoing Trump’s political career began with a lie that President Barack Obama was not born in the U.S. Further, Lemon noted that Trump often vacillated on denouncing racial violence, including the protests in Charlottesville that left one woman dead. 

On his show Monday night, Lemon also promoted his new book, “This is the Fire: What I Say to My Friends about Racism,” which will be released on March 16. 

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