CNN host Don Lemon went on a 5-minute tirade against President Trump for hosting the rapper in the Oval Office with a room full of cameras on Thursday. He accused the president of "exploiting" West and said that the rapper put on a "minstrel show" for Trump.
Lemon said FOX News' Sean Hannity and "his band of hypocrites" who are now applauding Kanye West were "the same people" that called the rapper the 'n-word' because of the Taylor Swift feud and for saying "George Bush doesn't care about black people" at a Hurricane Katrina benefit concert in 2005.
"He is disrespecting the Oval Office more than Kanye did because he invited Kanye in and exploited him," Lemon said.
Lemon asked people to imagine if President Barack Obama had Kanye West in the Oval Office what the reaction to that would be by networks like FOX News.
"The office is sacred," he said. "Can you imagine if President Barack Obama had Kanye West or any rapper or any person entertainer in the Oval Office who said 'M. F.' can you imagine -- everybody's heads would be exploding. Not just over at FOX News, not just the conservatives. Everybody's heads would be exploding saying, what's happening? This is not the first time that Donald Trump has denigrated that office."
The 'CNN Tonight' host said the media needs to take the cameras away from West because the man is in need of mental help and it is obvious that he needs a father figure. Lemon said West's mom is "rolling over in her grave" right now. He said he spoke to a family friend who said West's late mother would be "terribly disturbed" by this.
Lemon said this whole incident is an "embarrassment" and that we need to stop "pretending that it's normal."
"He needs a father figure," Lemon suggested. "He needs someone to help him and to guide him and he needs a hug more than anything."
"Kanye, back away from the cameras," Lemon advised. "Go get some help. And then come back and make your case. Nobody -- if you want to be conservative, if you want to support Donald Trump, that is your business. But as you're doing it, have some sense with it. Make sense. Educate yourself."
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: I have no animosity for Kanye West. I'm just going to be honest and I may get in a lot of trouble for it. I actually feel bad for him. What I saw was a minstrel show today. Him in front of all these white people embarrassing himself and embarrassing Americans, but mostly African-Americans because every one of them is sitting either at home or with their phones, watching this, cringing.
I couldn't even watch it. I had to turn the television off because it was so hard to watch. Him sitting there, being used by the president of the United States. The president of the United States exploiting him. And I don't mean this in a disparaging way -- exploiting someone who needs help, who needs to back away from the cameras, who needs to get off stage, who needs to deal with his issues.
And if anyone around him cares about him, the family that he mentioned today or whomever, his managers, maybe some other people who are in the music business who know him, they need to grab him, snatch him up and get Kanye together because Kanye needs help.
This has nothing to do with being liberal or a conservative. This has to do with honesty. And we have to stop pretending, sitting here on these CNN panels or whatever network panels, and pretending like this is normal and let's have this conversation about Kanye West. Who cares? Why are you sending cameras to the Oval Office for Kanye West? Did you send cameras to the Oval Office and carry it live when Common visited the White House? Common visited the White House and did a beautiful poem, spoken word, talked about how black people are kings and queens, how we need to rise up and do better. He didn't disparage anybody. He didn't speak in nonsequiturs, he didn't do anything awful.
And you know the only people who criticized him, the only people who really covered it were Sean Hannity and his band of hypocrites who are now -- who are now applauding Kanye West, the same people that many in that group called the n-word because of Taylor Swift and because of George Bush. And now all of a sudden, he is the person who represents the African-American community? He doesn't.
We need to take the cameras away from Kanye and from a lot of this craziness that happens in the White House because it is not normal and we need to stop sitting here pretending that it's normal. This was an embarrassment. Kanye's mother is rolling over in her grave.
I spoke to one of her friends today or texted with one of her friends today from Chicago. I used to live there. I know them. She said Donda would be embarrassed by this. She would be terribly disturbed by this. And Kanye has not been the same since his mother died.
He kept talking today about oh, I put the hat on and the hat made me feel strong and wearing a cape. He needs a father figure. He needs someone to help him and to guide him and he needs a hug more than anything.
Kanye, back away from the cameras. Go get some help. And then come back and make your case. Nobody -- if you want to be conservative, if you want to support Donald Trump, that is your business. But as you're doing it, have some sense with it. Make sense. Educate yourself...
The office is sacred. Can you imagine if President Barack Obama had Kanye West or any rapper or any person entertainer in the Oval Office who said 'M. F.' can you imagine -- everybody's heads would be exploding. Not just over at FOX News, not just the conservatives. Everybody's heads would be exploding saying, what's happening? This is not the first time that Donald Trump has denigrated that office.
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