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Tipsheet

Don Lemon and Karine Jean-Pierre Clash Over Biden's 'Semi-Fascism' Comment Against GOP

Patrick Semanksy/AP Photo

President Joe Biden took several jabs at Republicans, accusing them of being “semi- fascist” during a speech. 

However, his comment was met with many questions of what Biden actually meant by that. 

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White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre joined CNN’s Don Lemon for a heated exchange on Biden’s direct attack towards Republicans. 

“What exactly is semi-fascism, Karine?" Lemon asked. 

During a fundraising event in Maryland, Biden told the crowd that America is under threat, blaming the GOP for supporting former president Trump’s MAGA movement, linking their ideology to “semi-fascism.”

“What we’re seeing now is either the beginning or the death knell of an extreme MAGA philosophy… it’s not just Trump, it’s the entire philosophy that underpins the — I’m going to say something, it’s like semi-fascism,” Biden said. 

However no one, including Jean-Pierre, seemed to know exactly what Biden was trying to say by this comment, and frankly the president himself probably didn’t even know. 

“The American people have a choice in front of them and the president laid that out very clearly, very powerfully tonight. When you look at what Democrats are doing and what they are delivering, and what they have done, Don, in less than two years, which is lowering costs on prescription drugs, lowering the energy costs, making sure that we have this historic legislation to really deal with [the] climate crisis. All of these things are important,” Jean-Pierre told Lemon. 

Lemon was less than satisfied with her answer, asking once more what Biden meant. 

“And they are," Lemon interrupted, adding “Karine, I want to get to all of those things with all due respect, but we have a short time. I'm going to get to all those things, but if you'll answer my question.”

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“I am… I was just about to get to your question. I really was… You brought me on the show for a reason. And I have to talk about,” Jean-Pierre said just as Lemon interrupted for a second time. 

Clearly frustrated, Lemon said “I understand that, I just have limited time with you… I just want to make sure that we get all the answers.”

She appeared to not like the question, because not only did she waste time not answering the question from the get go, she snapped back at Lemon for him simply wanting an answer. 

“Well, by having this back and forth, we are actually taking away from the time. So here we go,” she said. 

“So what we're seeing from Republicans and what we have seen from Republicans these past several years is that they are attacking our democracy. They are taking away our freedom. And they are trying to put on the chopping blocks Medicare and Social Security. That's what we are seeing, and it's being done — if you look at the Republican Party, it is being done by this element, this MAGA element of the Republican Party. And that is what we are trying to prevent. That's what you heard from the president today,” Jean-Pierre told Lemon before signing off.

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