CNN hosts Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo debated Tuesday evening whether it is fair to compare President Trump to Adolf Hitler:
"It starts with little lies that become bigger lies," Lemon argued. "Well, just saying. Be careful."
DON LEMON, CNN HOST: But think about the despicable people we've had in history. OK? Now I'm going to use an extreme example. Think about Hitler. Think about any of those people. Would you say that that person is allowed -- or let's put it this way?
If you could look back on in history would you say well, I'm so glad that that person was allowed a platform so that they could spread their hate and propaganda and lies? Or would say it probably wasn't the right thing to do to spread that because you knew in the moment that that was a bad person. And they were doing bad things. Not only were they hurting people. They were killing people. And so, I just think that --
CUOMO: Well, I think that the example matters. And that's a very extreme example, rhetoric that you don't like.
LEMON: But laws rhetoric and laws --
CUOMO: Could it be a slippery slope towards violence?
LEMON: -- and policy are detrimental to people.
CUOMO: Maybe or maybe not.
LEMON: And it also -- and it also -- listen, for people like me, how this president feels about the Central Park Five that can be a life or death issue for people like me. That can be especially a life or death issue for those people who spent decades, a decade, some of them, or more in prison. They didn't have a life.
He took a big part of their life away. People like him who believed it and who wanted it to be true took a part of their lives away.
[22:04:57] And people -- and for -- you know, demonizing immigrants and talking about shit hole countries and saying that there are very fine people on both sides. For people of color in this country it is a life or death issue.
Ask Mrs. Heyer, Heather Heyer's mother who I had on. That is a life or death issue. So, you know, I'm just saying we just need to be careful about having this is a standard rule. This is not standard. This is not normal.
CUOMO: I don't think that it's standard.
LEMON: This is something that (Inaudible).
CUOMO: I don't think that it's normal because he is different than what we've seen. However, we talk about this and it's good that we do, comparing anything to an extreme like a Hitler. It weakens the argument.
LEMON: Well, I think it gives you a good example.
CUOMO: Because you are now taking a guy who says things you don't like and comparing him to a genocide maniac.
LEMON: No, no. I'm not comparing him to that. I'm not comparing him to that. I'm comparing the way you would cover someone who is --
CUOMO: I know.
LEMON: -- a bad person who does that.
CUOMO: But I'm saying it's creating a false standard. The guys who says things I don't like. That's abusive of the truth. It can obnoxious for effect and pander to a group of people in this country is not necessarily a away from a genocidal maniac.
LEMON: It starts with little lies. It starts with little lies that become bigger lies. And it starts with people who become brainwashed. Ask anybody -- ask anyone who had a family member who went to Guyana. Start with a little thing. People start to buy into it. Then all of a sudden, you become, it becomes a reality to you.
Good people follow bad people. It doesn't mean that they're a bad person. It just means they were used. And that they were in some ways co-opted. Doesn't mean they're bad people. But it starts with very little things. It takes some little, some truth and then falsity. And you keep capitalizing on it. So.
CUOMO: Right. That's how cons work. But I'm just saying, a con, something that isn't true versus a cult versus a genocidal maniac. I just think you should go one step at a time.
LEMON: Yes. Well, just saying. Be careful.
CUOMO: Absolutely. That's why we do the job.
LEMON: Be careful. Yes. Be careful. Thank you. I'll see you next time.