- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 25, 2017

CNN host Don Lemon scolded a guest Wednesday night for refusing to accept his narrative that President Trump’s anti-media rhetoric is responsible for Greg Gianforte’s alleged “body slam” of a Guardian reporter.

Mr. Lemon got into a heated exchange with Trump supporter Paris Dennard on “CNN Tonight” after news broke that Mr. Gianforte, the Republican nominee in Montana’s special election to take place today, allegedly attacked reporter Ben Jacobs, who said he was “body-slammed” by the candidate. Mr. Gianforte was charged with misdemeanor assault.

Mr. Lemon suggested that Mr. Gianforte’s behavior is somehow linked to the “guy who’s in office now” who has “said very horrible things about reporters and has said that the reporters are the enemy of the American people.”

Mr. Dennard disagreed, stating plainly, “No, Don.”

“That has nothing to do with anything?” Mr. Lemon continued. “That people feel that they can get away with it, because I don’t believe that you actually believe that. There’s no way you believe what you’re saying.”

“Well, actually I didn’t get a chance to say anything,” Mr. Dennard said. “But I will tell you now what I think and that is that what we have right now is a ground swelling of people who are not being respectful, who are not acting civil, and people who are just saying things that are inappropriate.”

“Why do you think that is?” Mr. Lemon asked. “Come on, Paris.”

Mr. Dennard responded, “If you’re trying to make a connection or a correlation between —”

“I’m not trying, I’m telling you,” Mr. Lemon interjected. “I’m telling you I am, I’m not trying, I’m just saying I can’t believe that you believe the words that are coming out of your mouth.”

“What does Donald Trump have anything to do with what this candidate did?” Mr. Dennard asked. “Let’s hold this candidate responsible.”

Mr. Lemon refused to accept that Mr. Gianforte’s behavior was a coincidence in the Trump era.

“If you think that that doesn’t have anything to do with it, then you are sadly, sadly mistaken, my friend,” he said.

Mr. Dennard fired back, “Call me sadly mistaken, but you’re wrong.”

“I just did. Thank you,” Mr. Lemon concluded the segment. “Good night everybody.”

Watch the clip below:

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