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Don Lemon shuts down Trump supporter: Saying birtherism isn’t about race is ‘tone deaf’

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CNN host Don Lemon scolded a Donald Trump supporter on Thursday for insisting that Donald Trump’s birther remarks about President Barack Obama were not racist and that “only liberals on television” felt like that was the case.

“Here’s the thing I said about the campaign being tone-deaf,” Lemon told Andy Dean, before urging him to look at his monitor and consider that both he and panelist Van Jones were African-American.

And to a lot of African-Americans they interact with, he explained, Trump’s allegations that Obama was not born in the US “is an issue that they have a problem with, that they see racist, that they see as delegitimizing the first African-American president when your candidate is trying to reach out to African-Americans. We as African-Americans are telling you this is an issue that we see as racial and you’re saying ‘no it’s not.’ That is being tone-deaf. Don’t you understand that?”

“Throughout American history, there’s been questions as to peoples’ birthplaces,” Dean responded. “It has nothing to do with his skin color, as evidenced by the fact that five other individuals have gone through this.”

“You didn’t hear anything I said,” a perturbed Lemon replied. “You didn’t hear anything I said. You may not think it’s a race issue. I’m telling you how African-Americans feel about it and you’re denying how African-Americans feel about it.”

Earlier in the evening, Trump’s campaign released a statement — attributed to a spokesperson — saying that the former reality show host believed that Obama was born in the US, hours after he told the Washington Post that he would address the issue at another time. For his part, Jones described the statement as an attempt to save face

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“He kind of stepped in the doggie poo with the Washington Post,” said Jones. “Hillary Clinton smacked him for it. He had somebody push out a statement for him, try to stop a little bit of the bleeding. At some point he’s going to have to stand up in front of the American people like you want anyone else to do with his own mouth and say that he was wrong. And it would be great for him to apologize.”

Jones also said that Trump’s campaign to get Obama to release his birth certificate felt to Black Americans “like it was a cheap shot at somebody who had a different skin color.”

“Apologize, show you’ve got some empathy, you might go somewhere with this,” he urged Trump. But Dean rejected the idea.

“I think he’s factually incorrect,” he said of Jones. “I think maybe liberals on television may think it’s a race issue.”

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Watch the discussion, as aired on Thursday, below.

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2020 Election

Obsessed Trump: ‘Only fake polls show us behind’ Democrats. Fox News: 5 Dems would beat him

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President Donald Trump is obsessed with polls – but not facts – and increasingly so. He just fired his internal pollsters after leaked internal poll numbers show devastating lossesfor Trump in key battleground states.

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CNN

If Trump really believed he was falsely accused ‘that is not a corrupt motive’ for removing the special counsel: Bill Barr

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Attorney General William Barr told Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) that if President Donald Trump really and truly thought he was being falsely accused of collaborating with Russia to steal the 2016 presidential election, that it was "not a corrupt motive" for firing Robert Mueller, a stunning statement from the nation's highest law enforcement officer.

"As a matter of law, I think the department's position would be that the president can direct the termination or the replacement of a special counsel," said Barr. "And as a matter of law, the obstruction statute does not reach that conduct."

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2020 Election

Trump ‘shirking his duty to protect the country’ by ignoring Russia election threat: Ex-CIA agent

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Ex-CIA agent Evan McMullin told CNN on Wednesday that President Donald Trump was "shirking his duty to protect the country" by ignoring the fact that Russia plans to attack the 2020 election.

"He's shirking his responsibility to protect the country," McMullin said. "We are in a new era of information warfare."

"Countries can be defeated without a shot being fired," he went on. "We just learned from the Mueller report that the president was aware that we were undergoing, as a country, an information warfare attack during 2016. He sought to benefit from it."

"A lot of times we say 'look, the president's ego is wounded' when we talk about how the Russians attacked us, and may have helped him get elected," McMullin continued. "But I actually think that we are a little naive to buy into that narrative. I think that is a fig leaf for the president. How can we ignore that this president barely won the electoral college?"

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