Don Lemon slams CNN colleague Rick Santorum: ‘Horrible and insulting’

“I was furious watching that interview in my office. I cannot believe the first words out of his mouth weren’t ‘I’m sorry."

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CNN’s Don Lemon shared his disdain toward his colleague Rick Santorum‘s recent comments disregarding Native American culture during a tense conversation with Chris Cuomo.

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On Monday, Cuomo offered Santorum the platform to clarify his recent, controversial statements.

“Just to be clear,” Santorum said according to Deadline, “What I was not saying is that Native American culture…I misspoke…what I was talking about is the founding of the country. I gave a long talk about the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, and what I was saying is that we sort of created that anew, if you will.

“I was not trying to dismiss Native Americans. In fact, I mentioned them because they were here and they did have an impact. In fact, in this country you are right; they have a huge impact.”

Lemon was not satisfied at his attempt to save face.

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 Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights)

“I was furious watching that interview in my office. I cannot believe the first words out of his mouth weren’t ‘I’m sorry, I said something ignorant, I need to learn about the history of this country.’ No contrition! Didn’t talk about the suffering that Native Americans have had to deal with in this country. I mean, Rick Santorum, really?” Lemon said as he joined Cuomo on air Monday night.

Did he actually think it was a good idea for him to come on television and try to whitewash the whitewash that he whitewashed? It was horrible and insulting! And I apologize to the viewers who were insulted by it. I was sitting in my office furious because he’s done it so many times! So many times!” Lemon continued.

“It was just—I’m sorry, it was so egregious and insulting, and everything that we talk about, about the founding of this country.”

Cuomo told Lemon that “you got to do more than just echo the outrage at what he says.” Lemon responded, “I am not echoing the outrage. I don’t even know about the outrage.”

“I don’t know anything more about this Rick Santorum thing. I don’t know anything about that. I was just sitting and watching that interview and heard bits and pieces of it, and when I saw him, I said, ‘Is he going to apologize?’”

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Cuomo continued to press Lemon, saying, “Our world is not Twitter…that’s where the reaction is and the media hypes the reaction. I had him on because I wanted people to see what this is. There is no mystery for you guys.”

Santorum’s original statements that earned him the spot on Cuomo’s broadcast were made in April during a right-wing student organization, Young America’s Foundation’s Standing Up For Faith & Freedom Conference. theGrio reported clip of his comments went viral and were met with backlash.

Group Of Republican Senators Introduce The Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson Proposal To Reform Healthcare
WASHINGTON, DC – SEPTEMBER 13: Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) speaks during a news conference on health care September 13, 2017 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Senators Graham, Cassidy, Heller and Johnson unveiled a proposed legislation to repeal and replace the Obamacare. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

“And so they came here, mostly from Europe, and they set up a country that was based on Judeo-Christian principles—when I say Judeo-Christian, the Mosaic laws, 10 Commandments, and the teachings of Jesus Christ, the morals and teachings of Jesus Christ,” Santorum said. “That’s what our founding documents are based upon. It’s in our DNA.”

He continued, “we birthed a nation from nothing. I mean, there was nothing here,” and added, “I mean, yes we have Native Americans but candidly there isn’t much Native American culture in American culture,” he said. “It was born of the people who came here pursuing religious liberty to practice their faith, to live as they ought to live, and have the freedom to do so.”

DNC Chair Jaime Harrison was one person who shared anger over the speech.

“Seriously is any one surprised to hear this hot garbage coming from Rick Santorum?! Nothing was here?! No native American culture in American culture?! America hasn’t changed?! Ok @CNN… ok!,”

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