- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 29, 2020

CNN host Don Lemon on Tuesday night addressed a controversial on-air segment that caught the attention of President Trump, in which the CNN host laughed along as his guests categorized the president’s supporters as ignorant hicks.

“One final note that I have for you, because this is personally important to me to address this,” Mr. Lemon told his audience during his opening monologue Tuesday. “Anyone — ask anyone who knows me, they’ll tell you, I don’t believe in belittling people, belittling anyone for who they are, for what they believe, or where they’re from.”

Mr. Lemon sparked a widespread backlash this week after he laughed hysterically as Republican political strategist Rick Wilson ripped the president’s base as the “credulous boomer rube demo,” among other insults.

SEE ALSO: Trump rips Don Lemon as ‘dumbest man on television’ over segment mocking supporters

In response, Mr. Trump revived his nickname for Mr. Lemon, calling him the “dumbest man on television,” and the president’s children Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and countless conservatives blasted the CNN host as tone deaf and elitist. White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham demanded that CNN apologize for Mr. Lemon’s “arrogant” and “divisive” behavior.

Mr. Lemon declined to apologize Tuesday, explaining that he was simply laughing at a joke and not a group of people.

“During an interview on Saturday night, one of my guests said something that made me laugh,” he said. “And while in the moment I found that joke humorous, and I didn’t catch everything that was said. Just to make this perfectly clear, I was laughing at the joke and not at any group of people.”

The explanation didn’t satisfy many conservatives on Twitter, who argued that Mr. Lemon was indeed laughing at a “joke” about a “group of people.”

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