CNN contributor April Ryan implies President Trump's reported interest in nuking hurricanes has a racist motive behind it because Africa is "where there are mostly black people." In a panel Monday morning on CNN, Ryan said the president has called Africa a "shithole nation" in the past and wondered if Trump is interested in the continent because "mostly black people" live there.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN 'NEW DAY' CO-HOST: All right, happening now, you're looking at live pictures right there. President Trump is in France. He is now meeting with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. We will dip into this if there is news coming from that.
In the meantime, the president is denying a report in "Axios" this morning that says he was considering, or musing, or asking, I should say, about using nuclear weapons to stop hurricanes headed toward the United States of America.
Back with us, April Ryan, Angela Rye, Andrew Gillum, and Bakari Sellers.
Angela, I want to start with you here because you came in this morning talking about this.
ANGELA RYE, CNN POLITICAL COMMENTATOR: Yes, I -- hi, John.
But I just -- I mean -- just, honestly, like, everybody on set just laughed. I mean this is -- this is so ridiculous. I keep wanting you all to wake me up and tell me this was a very long, terrible, bad dream, but it's real. It's a real thing. And that's -- it's news that he's nuking --
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN 'NEW DAY' CO-HOST: OK, but --
RYE: He wants to nuke hurricanes coming off the coast of Africa, Bakari.
BAKARI SELLERS, CNN COMMENTATOR: But -- but can I just say that this -- this actually worked before, guys. And we do need to recognize that.
CAMEROTA: In what (INAUDIBLE)?
ANDREW GILLUM, CNN COMMENTATOR: What part?
APRIL RYAN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: Yes, talk to us about that.
SELLERS: It was "Sharknado." In "Sharknado" -- GILLUM: Oh, geez, man.
RYE: Well, that's -- that's -- those are his facts. Those are his facts.
GILLUM: That is true.
SELLERS: This is -- this is taken from " Sharknado" and I do want you to know --
GILLUM: Do you know what, the sad part is it's probably -- it's probably true.
RYAN: Well, is it really taken from "Sharknado"?
CAMEROTA: Well, this was an idea that was floated during the Eisenhower administration in the 1950s.
GILLUM: We've learned a lot more.
CAMEROTA: Where President Trump gets a lot of his ideas about what --
CAMEROTA: You know, when America was sort of at its best basically.
CAMEROTA: Here's what "Axios" is reporting.
RYE: Maybe he (INAUDIBLE) --
CAMEROTA: And, by the way, this -- you know, he's denying it, but this is what was recorded in the National Security Council memorandum that recorded the comments when it happened.
RYE: Which means that might be factually based.
RYE: Imagine that.
CAMEROTA: In real time.
CAMEROTA: Here's what "Axios" is reporting.
During one hurricane briefing at the White House, Trump said, I got it, I got it. Why don't we nuke them? According to the source who was there. They start forming off the coast of Africa. As they move across the Atlantic --
RYAN: There we go.
RYE: I'm telling you.
CAMEROTA: We drop a bomb inside the eye of the hurricane and it disrupts it. Why can't we do that? The source paraphrased the president's remarks that, as we said were reported.
SELLERS: Listen, it worked in "Sharknado." He wants to give it an opportunity, give it a chance. It's not science based.
This all ties into what we were talking about in an earlier segment. We have a -- the leader of the free world who does not believe in science.
RYAN: But let --
RYE: Stop calling him that. Stop calling him that. Stop calling him that. Call him something else.
RYAN: But let me say this. I know we're tongue and -- we're -- we're tongue and cheeking this, but this is the president of the United States.
RYE: It's not funny.
RYAN: Saying something about that. And he brought in Africa. As Angela -- as we were talking during break, he's called Africa a shit hole nation. It's actually a country --
RYE: Well, he's called some of the countries.
RYAN: Some of the countries.
Africa is a continent. And what part of Africa are you talking about? Sub-Saharan Africa, where there are mostly black people? This is just crazy. There is a ripple effect that can happen for land, sea, for people, if he did something like this. For this man to think this. This is the leader of the free world. There should be some --
RYE: Stop calling --
RYAN: Well, he's the president of the United States, Angela.
RYE: He's supposed to be. He's supposed to be.
RYAN: He is the person --
RYE: He's supposed to be.
RYAN: Who anything he does and says impacts people, impacts the globe. And his --
RYE: Until -- until we don't let it.
RYAN: There needs to be someone who vets what he says, because this is dangerous.
BERMAN: I will note, if only there were some part of the government that was full of scientists that could check this.