CNN hosts Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon expressed their frustration with President Trump on Thursday after the president referred to nations like El Salvador and Haiti as “s—hole countries” and questioned why the United States is accepting so many immigrants from the regions.
On “CNN Tonight,” Lemon kicked off the show’s cold open with, “The president of the United States is racist. A lot of us already knew that.”
Lemon briefly explained the context of Trump’s comments — the president made the remarks while he was discussing immigration with lawmakers in the White House.
“But you know who he said he would welcome here?” Lemon asked. “He said, ‘The U.S. should bring in more people from countries like Norway.'”
“Those comments are frankly, disgusting,” he said. “There’s other language I’d like to use, but we are on television.”
“But you know what, they’re not shocking, not even really surprising,” he continued. “Because this is who Donald Trump is. This is what he thinks. Apparently we have to go through this repertoire every time he says something like this, or exhibits some racist behavior.”
Cooper recapped Trump’s comments, and said, “Tired of Africans and Haitians, the president went on to say that he would like to bring more people from countries like Norway — Norway, whose population is overwhelmingly of Nordic descent, white people in other words.”
Cooper went on to point out that the Trump administration has not denied that Trump made these remarks, and speculated that it may be because it believes the comments will go over well with Trump’s voter base.
“But it doesn’t make what he said any less ignorant, or any less racist,” he said. “Not racial, not racially charged. Racist. Let’s not kid ourselves, let’s not pretend or dance around it, the sentiment the president expressed today is a racist sentiment.”
Watch the clips below.