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CNN’s Don Lemon says Trump supporters are like ‘drug addicts’

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CNN host Don Lemon sparked outrage on Thursday night when he told a national audience that he has cut out friends because they supported President Trump, likening them to drug addicts who have ‘hit rock bottom.’

‘I had to get rid of a lot of people in my life because sometimes you’ve just got to let them go,’ Lemon told colleague Chris Cuomo at the start of his CNN Tonight broadcast on Thursday.

‘I think they have to hit rock bottom like an addict, right?

‘And they have to want to get help, they have to want to know the truth, they have to want to live in reality, they have to want to be responsible not only for other people’s lives but for their lives.’

The 54-year-old cable news host talked about growing up and living in several ‘red states,’ where he made friends with people who are now supporters of the president.

CNN host Don Lemon (left) compared supporters of President Trump (right) on Thursday to drug addicts who have ‘hit rock bottom.’ He revealed that he has ended friendships with people because they are ‘too far gone’ in their support of the president

CNN’s @donlemon: “I have many people who I love in my life … There are a lot of friends I had to really get rid of because they are so non-sensical when it comes to [Trump]. If they’re willing to come back and willing to live in reality, then I will welcome them with open arms” pic.twitter.com/eLsVX1qAdD

— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) October 30, 2020

‘You know what the sad thing is? And I’ll be honest with you … I’ve had many people who I love in my life – and yeah I come from a red state (Louisiana), I’ve lived in several red states, there are a lot of friends who I’ve had to really get rid of because they are so nonsensical when it comes to this issue,’ Lemon said.

‘They have every single talking point that they hear on state TV and that they hear from this president, they repeat it and they’re blinded by it.’

Lemon continued: ‘I had to get rid of them because they’re too far gone.

‘I try and I try and I try, they say something really stupid and then I’ll show them the science and I’ll give them the information, and they still repeat those talking points.’

He added: ‘It’s so sad. And I don’t know if after this I’ll ever be able to go back and be friends with those people because, at a certain point, you just say they’re too far gone and I’ve got to let them go.

‘And if they’re willing to come back, they’re willing to live in reality, then I would welcome them with open arms.

‘But I can’t do it, I can’t do it anymore.’

On Twitter, social media users blasted Lemon. One Twitter user commented: ‘Run like hell, people! Don’t ever look back!’

Another Twitter user wrote sarcastically: ‘What a big-hearted open-minded guy that Don Lemon is!’

Chris McIntire tweeted: ‘Those people he “let go” are better off.’

Another Twitter user commented: ‘Great friend! Have serious doubts that these people were really friends!’

Twitter user Evan Hanifee wrote: ‘So much for diversity of thought I guess.

On Twitter, social media users blasted Lemon. One Twitter user commented: ‘Run like hell, people! Don’t ever look back!’

Another Twitter user commented: ‘“I’m not crazy, everyone else is!”’

Twitter user Evan Hanifee wrote: ‘So much for diversity of thought I guess.’

Another Twitter user commented: ‘Great friend! Have serious doubts that these people were really friends!’

Chris McIntire tweeted: ‘Those people he “let go” are better off.

Another Twitter user wrote sarcastically: ‘What a big-hearted open-minded guy that Don Lemon is!’

Twitter users blasted Lemon, saying he was promoting intolerance of other people’s viewpoints

‘The irony is astounding.’

Another Twitter user commented: ‘“I’m not crazy, everyone else is!”’

Lemon has in recent months ignited controversy for critical on-air comments about Trump supporters.

In August, Lemon said that backers of the president suffer from ‘cognitive dissonance’ for getting behind a ‘bad person’ like Trump.

On the August 28 broadcast, Lemon came on the air to take over from Cuomo.

The two men then discussed Trump.

When Cuomo suggested to Lemon that Trump supporters acknowledged his flaws but thought Joe Biden would be worse for the country as president, Lemon responded: ‘I think you’re letting them off easy.’

‘I don’t believe that it’s just because they think Joe Biden would be worse,’ he said.

‘I think it’s because they like it, not [at] a certain level, on many levels. They like what he presents. They like the lies, one would have to.

In January, Trump slammed Lemon as the ‘dumbest man on television’ after the CNN host and two guests – Wajahat Ali (left) and Rick Wilson (right) – mocked the president and his ‘credulous boomer rube’ supporters during an on-air segment

Lemon laughed hysterically throughout the segment and, at one point, wiped tears from his eyes as his guests put on accents to mock Trump and his supporters

‘If you don’t like the lies, then you’re not a supporter. They like the shiny objects.

‘They like the racism. They like the misogyny.

‘They like all of it because if they didn’t, they wouldn’t support him.’

Lemon continued: ‘So there’s either a disconnect or cognitive dissonance going on where you have to believe that you made the right choice, because you just can’t somehow, in your mind, admit that you made the wrong choice, that this is a bad person, that he is a liar, that you overlook all of those things because of what?’

He added: ‘Maybe you’re not digging deep enough in yourself. It’s not Donald Trump’s issue, it’s yours.’

In January, Lemon once again drew fire after he openly mocked and laughed at Trump supporters with two guests on the air.

The CNN host started crying with laughter when his two guests – ex-Republican strategist Rick Wilson and New York Times columnist Wajahat Ali – suggested Trump’s supporters were uneducated and couldn’t point out countries on a map. 

The panel were discussing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s testy interview with an NPR reporter about Ukraine and ousted US Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch.  

Following the interview, the reporter said Pompeo cursed at her and repeatedly ‘used the F-word’ and asked her: ‘Do you think Americans care about Ukraine?’ 

Both of Lemon’s guests were critical of Pompeo’s response to the interview and put on accents as they mocked Trump and his supporters.  

‘(Pompeo) knows deep in his heart that Donald Trump couldn’t find Ukraine on a map if you had the letter ‘U’ and a picture of an actual physical crane next to it,’ Wilson said. 

‘He knows that this is an administration defined by ignorance of the world. That’s partly him playing to their base and to their audience, the credulous boomer rube demo that backs Donald Trump that wants to think that “Donald Trump’s the smart one and y’all elitists are dumb!”.’

Ali also joined in saying: ”You elitists with your geography and your maps and your spelling… your readin’, your geography, knowin’ other countries. Only them elitists know where Ukraine is.’

Lemon laughed hysterically throughout the segment and, at one point, wiped tears from his eyes. 

‘That was a good one. I needed that,’ Lemon said. 

The backlash against Lemon and CNN was swift with Trump and his daughter Ivanka among those lashing out. 

‘Don Lemon, the dumbest man on television (with terrible ratings!),’ the president tweeted with a clip of the CNN segment. 

Ivanka Trump also weighed in by tweeting: ‘You consistently make fun of half the country and then complain that it is divided. The arrogance, mocking accents and smug ridicule of this nation’s “Real Elites” is disgusting.’    

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