CNN host Don Lemon took a short amount of time on Wednesday to discuss the controversial segment from Saturday where he burst into laughter as guests Wajahat Ali and Rick Wilson mocked President Trump and his supporters as Americans who can't read, write, or read a map.
Lemon claimed that he did not hear everything that Ali and Wilson said and that he was laughing at the jokes they were making, not at any particular group of people.
"Because this is personally important to me to address this. Anyone, ask anyone who knows me. I don’t believe in belittling people," Lemon said.
"Belittling anyone for who they are, what they believe, or where they’re from. During an interview on Saturday night my guest said something that made me laugh. In the moment I found the joke humorous and didn’t catch everything said. Just to make this clear, I was laughing at the joke. And not at any group of people," he explained.
Lemon began to laugh after Wilson described Trump's base as a "credulous, boomer rube" demographic and then he and Ali used exaggerated southern accents to joke how the "elites" only care about spelling and reading.
After the segment drew criticism on Monday, Wilson and Ali stood by what they said.
Trump tweeted our CNN clip from 2 days ago. Friends are now concerned about my safety. I refuse to be intimidated & bullied by bad faith actors who cry fake victimhood, whining about a harmless, silly 30 second clip while endorsing Trump, a cruel vulgarian who debases everyone.— Wajahat "Some Muslim...I've Never Heard Of" Ali (@WajahatAli) January 28, 2020
Wilson called outrage "fake" because "the MAGA world wants the freedom to attack, insult, demean, and abuse anyone who doesn’t aggressively worship Donald Trump. They can’t stand anyone who punches back, and hope they can intimidate or shame me."