Don Lemon Shows No Remorse for Trump-Russia Probe, Mocking MAGA in WILD Interview

April 29th, 2024 1:45 PM

In an interview posted Friday with The Intercept’s Ryan Grim and Federalist editor/National Journalism Center (NJC) director Emily Jashinsky, former CNN host Don Lemon showed zero regret or remorse for CNN’s Trump-Russia obsessions, mocking Trump voters as Boomer rubes, and insisted CNN had no liberal bias.

Grim and Jashinsky scored the Lemon interview as the first long-form sit-down for their show Counter Points as part of the Breaking Points network, helmed by Krystal Ball and Saagar Enjeti.

The pompous liberal journalist couldn’t even fully engage with the two questions about whether he felt like he had more freedom to cover topics now that he’s in independent media versus his days inside corporate media and, in a follow-up, whether he was restricted at CNN.

Lemon’s arrogance came out as he bragged he “probably had the most editorial freedom on — on my own network than anyone” perhaps in part due to the airtime (before admitting, yes, having an independent show has helped him foster “community” and better engagement with viewers).

After an amusing exchange when Lemon refused to engage with Jashinsky’s questions about whether his comment about Nikki Haley being past “her prime” truly outraged CNN bosses or was just an excuse to fire him, Lemon strongly pushed back when Grim next asked him whether he agreed CNN missed the ground swell on the far-left for Bernie Sanders in 2016 and 2020. 

In essence, Lemon told Grim to stop whining and get over it since Sanders supporters were likely why Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton (click “expand”):

I didn’t necessarily think CNN was — was left. I thought that CNN was about facts. I think CNN has the best journalists in the world, but I also think — you asked me what my editorial meetings were like. I mean, we, no one was trying to push Bernie Sanders, at least in my editorial meetings and I would — I would venture to, to speak for the network now. Well, I’ll speak for myself. I don’t think that anyone was trying to push Bernie Sanders out. I think that Bernie Sanders may have had sort of — this sort of — sort of outsized influence with a certain segment of the Democratic Party. But all polls in 2016 pointed to Hillary Clinton, all polls in 2020 and public sentiment pointed to Joe Biden. And so, what was shocking, I think, to myself was the — the reaction from Democrats to the nomination of Hillary Clinton instead of Bernie Sanders in — in ‘16, especially in 2020. You know, I — I couldn’t get to gauge it because I didn’t get to go to the conventions. I think that was around, you know, because of COVID. But here’s a shocking thing.


[T]he public wanted Hillary Clinton. They didn’t want Bernie Sanders. So, I say that to say when, after all of, you know, Republicans did not love Donald Trump. They held their nose and they voted for him, all of the Never Trumpers, all of the people, you know, from Ted Cruz on down, when he became the nominee, everyone got behind him. When we were at the convention, it was Trump, Trump, Trump, Trump. It wasn’t Jeb. It wasn’t, you know, Cruz, it wasn’t Rubio, it wasn’t any of those people. By the time we got to the Democratic convention and Hillary Clinton was a nominee, people were yelling, Bernie, Bernie and we were like, what the hell is going on? So, I think that Bernie Sanders, that — that — that wing of the Democratic Party actually did as much if not more damage to Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump.


I think Bernie Sanders is a fantastic politician, but I do think that there is a lesson in it for Democrats that you have to get behind the person who is the actual nominee and you cannot have sour grapes of the person who did not become the nominee. That’s how the process worked. So, I know that people are upset and they’re upset about the progressive wing and they don’t think it gets covered enough, but this is where we are. The nominee — or the person is Joe Biden, the nominee or the person then was Hillary Clinton. I think the Bernie Sanders progressive wing of the party should have gotten behind — should have gotten behind them. And that’s the reason — one of the reasons — the main reasons that we’re in the predicament that we are now and that we had a Trump presidency.


Bernie Sanders was not going to win....Republicans fall in line. Democrats fight each other. Democrats usually wet the bed. I — I’m sorry, but Bernie Sanders was not the nominee nor was he ever going to become the nominee. And I know that people are upset by it, but that’s the truth. It’s the same thing for Republicans. Nikki Haley is not the nominee. She’s not gonna become the nominee. Donald Trump is a nominee, regardless if you like it or not. The guy is in court and guess what? Republicans are going to fall in line.

Jashinsky then confronted Lemon over the infamous 2020 segment with Rick Wilson and Wajahat Ali in which they mocked Trump supporters as moronic “Boomer rubes.” Jashinsky called it “a low point, honestly, in media coverage of Donald Trump” and wondered if Lemon regretted “seeing other Americans through that lens”.

Lemon flatly denied he participated in any of that demeaning behavior, claiming he only laughed about the idea Americans couldn’t find Ukraine on a map:

Lemon’s scoffing even brought Grim to push back and fact-checked Lemon’s claim from earlier that 2020 polls always had Biden as a lock for the Democratic nomination (click “expand”):

GRIM: [T]o the point about the polling that, that you mentioned — 

LEMON: I mean, you can’t say that — 

GRIM: — oh, just one point —

LEMON: — you can’t say that.

GRIM: — on Joe Biden’s polling. Joe — Joe Biden was not polling ahead. You — you had said that Joe Biden was pulling ahead. Joe Biden was in the toilet the entire time. He finished fourth in Iowa, fifth in New Hampshire, got annihilated in — in Nevada —

LEMON: Where was he by the time — where was he by the time got to the convention?

GRIM: — yeah. And — and then he — he won after, you know, $175 million in — in free media between Nevada and South Carolina. And then he wins Super Tuesday and he won the nomination, no doubt about it.

LEMON: Yeah.

GRIM: But he wasn’t polling ahead, uh, before that.

Jashinsky drew even more defensiveness from Lemon when she wondered if the press had made any strides to understand Americans outside their corporate liberal bubbles, adding Lemon himself was still somewhat in one since his new studio was on Park Avenue.

Also in the clip above, Lemon’s skull was so thick he denied Park Avenue was any sort of elite bubble because it’s still “part of America” and argued the media do “a great job of — of — of talking to people from, you know, from all parts of the country”.

Lemon somehow poured out even more elitist drivel when he claimed Trump supporters and Bernie supporters were far too “overrepresented” in the media and people like Grim and Jashinsky should get over it:

Later, he strongly took exception to Grim’s analysis on CNN being an establishment Democratic Party “mouthpiece” since it’s “only because of the Republican side and mostly Donald Trump and the MAGA wing of the Republican Party, the facts were not on their side” (click “expand”):

The interview ended with more barbs being thrown when Jashinsky flatly told Lemon that CNN’s “Russia coverage was not great,” but Lemon said that’s only “your opinion” because “the Russia coverage on CNN was — was good” and the media in general having done “the best jobs that they could”.

Further, he told her to both stop “Monday morning quarterback[ing]” what happened and falling into the trap of many “people” who “romanticize the time that we were in, like people romanticize, you know, COVID.”

Grim threw one more jab, asking whether CNN had “ever said that there actually was not, never proven collusion between the Trump campaign and the” Russians.

Lemon initially said “You’ll have to ask CNN”, but then dove in head-first by falsely claiming that’s not true and there were indeed “accounts of collusion”.


To see the relevant transcript from April 26, click here.