CNN host Don Lemon tore into President Donald Trump’s extensive history of using racial slurs and attacks after he called Sen. Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas” at an event honoring Native American veterans.
“The president of the United States, in the middle of an event honoring American heroes – the Navajo code-talkers – slamm[ed] a political opponent using a racist slur,” Lemon said. “A racist slur.”
Lemon then played the clip of Trump speaking at the event, which was bizarrely staged in front of a portrait of Andrew Jackson, who signed the Indian Removal Act.
“You were here long before any of us were here. Although we have a representative in Congress who they say was here a long time ago. They call her Pocahontas,” Trump said.
“That remark met with stunned silence from everyone in the room because everyone in that room knew it was a racist slur directed at Sen. Elizabeth Warren,” Lemon said, before playing a montage of Trump repeatedly calling her “Pocahontas” on the campaign trail.
Lemon cited repeated statements by Native American groups asking Trump to stop using the term.
“The name of Pocahontas should not be used as a slur, and it is inappropriate for anyone to use her name in a disparaging manner,” the National Congress of American Indians said in a statement.
“That seems clear enough,” Lemon said, before showing White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders denying that Trump’s comment was “offensive” and said it was “ridiculous” to call the term a “racial slur.”
Lemon then noted that the event itself was held in front of a portrait of Jackson.
“Andrew Jackson famously signed the Indian Removal Act, which allowed white settlers to drive Native Americans off their land by force starting a brutal migration known as the ‘Trail of Tears,’” Lemon said.
“Maybe you want to argue that President Trump is just tone-deaf or ignorant of that part of the record of President Jackson,” he said. “Maybe you think we should give him the benefit of the doubt. But remember all the times that this president has launched attacks against people of color.”
“Against Mexicans,” Lemon said before playing a clip of Trump saying immigrants from below the border are “bringing drugs, they’re rapists, and some, I assume, are good people.”
“Against African-Americans,” Lemon said, before playing a clip of Trump pointing to a man at a rally and declaring, “Look at my African-American! Look at him!”
He went on to play clips of Trump attacking a judge over his Hispanic heritage and a Muslim Gold Star mother before a video of Trump insisting there were some “very fine people” who marched with Nazis in Charlottesville.
Lemon then went years back to Trump’s birther crusade against President Obama.
“I would like to have him show his birth certificate,” Trump says in the clip. “Because if he can’t, and if he wasn’t born in this country – which is a real possibility – I’m not saying it happened, I’m saying it’s a real possibility. Much greater than I thought two or three weeks ago. Then he has pulled one of the great cons in the history of politics.”
“This aspect of Donald Trump isn’t new,” Lemon said. “It goes for years.”
Lemon then played a clip of his interview with Trump two years ago, in which the CNN host asked, “Are you racist?”
“I am the least racist person that you have ever met,” Trump told Lemon.
“Are you bigoted in any way?” Lemon asked.
“I don’t think so,” Trump replied.
“Just because you say you’re not racist doesn’t make it so,” said Lemon. “Especially if you say, do and defend racist behavior over and over and over again. Especially if you have lost your credibility by telling countless lies, big and small.”
Watch the clip below: