Don Lemon already has received a lot of publicity for saying Kanye West’s mother must be “rolling over in her grave” after West visited President Trump on Thursday.
But in the 5-and-a-half-minute soliloquy Lemon gave about the visit on Wolf Blitzer’s show, he suggested West is mentally ill and that Trump is exploiting him for electoral gain.
“What I saw was a minstrel show today,” Lemon said. “Him in front of all these white people … mostly white people … embarrassing himself. And embarrassing Americans … but mostly African-Americans. Because every one of them is sitting either at home or with their phones watch this, cringing, I couldn’t even watch it. I had to turn the television off because it was so hard to watch.”
Trump was “exploiting someone who needs help, who needs to back away from the cameras, who needs to get offstage, who needs to deal with his issues,” Lemon said.
It has “nothing to do with being liberal or conservative,” Lemon said. He then took a shot at his bosses for covering the event.
“We have to stop pretending — sitting here on these CNN panels or on whatever network panels — and pretending like this is normal and let’s have this conversation about Kanye West.
“Who cares?” he said. “Why are you sending cameras to the Oval Office for Kanye West? Did you send cameras to the Oval Office and carry it live when Common visited the White House?”
Common, another performer, read a poem entitled “Spoken Word,” Lemon said.
The only people who covered it were “Sean Hannity and his band of hypocrites … who are now applauding Kanye West. The same people that many in that group called the N-word because of Taylor Swift and because of George Bush.
“And now all of a sudden he is the person that represents the African-American community? He doesn’t. We need to take the cameras away from Kanye and from a lot of this craziness that happens in the White House because it is not normal. And we need to stop sitting here pretending that it’s normal. This was an embarrassment.”
Lemon then started in on West’s mother, Donda, whom he said he knew from when he lived in Chicago. Lemon said he texted one of her friends, who said the mother “would be embarrassed by this. She would be terribly disturbed by this. Kanye has not been the same since his mother died.”
He kept talking today about how I put the hat on and the hat made me feel strong and wearing a cape. He needs a father figure. He needs someone to help him … and to guide him … and he needs a hug more than anything.”
Lemon then looked straight into the camera and addressed the performer directly. “Kanye, back away from the cameras,” Lemon advised. “Go get some help, and then come back and make your case. Nobody … if you want to be conservative … if you want to support Donald Trump that is your business. But as you’re doing it, have some sense with it. Make sense. Educate yourself.”
He said it was said that “we’re watching someone’s demise before our eyes,” but the president should know better.
“The office is sacred,” he said before asserting “everybody’s heads would have exploded” if someone had said the F-word upon visiting President Obama.
“And this is not the first that Donald Trump has denigrated that office. He brought Ted Nugent in who said some very disparaging things about the former president. This is not the first time he had someone that denigrates that office, that didn’t live up to the respect of that office in there and today was another example of that. He is disrespecting the Oval Office more than Kanye. because he invited Kanye in and exploited him.”