On Tuesday, Lemon said he wasn’t laughing at Trump supporters. Rather, he was laughing at the joke and said he didn’t hear everything that was said.
“One final note that I have for you, because this is personally important to me to address this. Anyone — ask anyone who knows me, they’ll tell you, I don’t believe in belittling people. Belittling anyone for who they are, for what they believe, or where they’re from, ” Lemon said.
“During an interview on Saturday night, one of my guests said something that made me laugh. And while in the moment I found the joke humorous, and I didn’t catch everything that was said. Just to make this perfectly clear, I was laughing at the joke and not at any group of people.”
See his comments below:
CNN’s @donlemon on the viral clip of him laughing at Trump voters: “I didn’t catch everything that was said. Just to make this clear: I was laughing at the joke. And not at any group of people." pic.twitter.com/12QeXAV6GG— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) January 29, 2020
Lemon dedicated a segment to a spat between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly, but that went off the rails laughing as the guests poked fun at Trump supporters, as IJR has previously reported.
The segment took a turn when former Republican strategist Rick Wilson blasted Pompeo and impersonated his view of a stereotypical Trump supporter.
“Donald Trump’s the smart one — and y’all elitists are dumb!” Wilson said with a thick southern accent.
Lemon burst out in laughter as Wilson continued to joke about Trump supporters. As Lemon regained his composure, he said, “I needed that.”
After Trump saw the segment, he blasted Lemon on Twitter, “The dumbest man on television (with terrible ratings!)”
Don Lemon, the dumbest man on television (with terrible ratings!). https://t.co/iQXCc7lvCt— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 28, 2020
While Lemon said he wasn’t laughing at Trump supporters, Wilson was unapologetic about it and called those who voiced outrage at the segment, “So delicate. So soft. So fragile. Dare I say…snowflakes?”