CNN's Don Lemon offered a sobering perspective on President Donald Trump's history of racist and inflammatory remarks, as rumors buzz over a possible recording of Trump using the n-word during his time on The Apprentice.
Lemon said any such recording "should be a bombshell" but that the president's own documented behavior suggests Trump using the n-word would be par for the course.
Former White House aide and thrice Apprentice contestant Omarosa Manigault-Newman claims in her book, Unhinged: An Insider's Account of the Trump White House that Trump frequently used the n-word during production. Trump responded to rumors by calling Newman a "dog."
When you give a crazed, crying lowlife a break, and give her a job at the White House, I guess it just didn’t work… https://t.co/xpJpbroNNB— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1534246271.0
Lemon suggested that if such recording exists, little would change because the American people have become numb to Trump's jarring and divisive rhetoric.
It's worth noting that a year ago today in the wake of Heather Heyer's murder by a white supremacist at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, Trump said there were "very fine people" on both sides of the protest.
Last year, neo-Nazis rallied in Charlottesville and killed a counter protester by driving into a crowd. Never for… https://t.co/Luo8FytMEV— Bishop Talbert Swan (@Bishop Talbert Swan) 1533959726.0
"It would be rational to think that if this purported tape of Trump using the N-word exists ― and there is no proof that it does ― but if it did, it would be a bombshell, right?" Lemon said. "Right? It’d have to be... or would it?"
Lemon began by playing a clip of Trump calling Mexicans "rapists and criminals," which is how he kicked off his bid for the White House in the lobby of Trump Tower in 2015. Trump later admitted in a June 2016 deposition that his racially-charged comments were planned.
In Trump's videotaped deposition, he implies that comments he made about Mexicans during his campaign kick off were… https://t.co/nM5bZlGIba— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeed News) 1475263404.0
"What if I told you," Lemon said, "that I have a secretly recorded tape of him [Trump] bragging about sexually assaulting women?" Lemon proceeded to play the infamous 2005 Access Hollywood recording in which Trump can be heard saying women let him "gram them by the pussy" because he's famous.
Lemon continued: "What if I told you I have a tape of him mocking a disabled person?" Lemon then played a clip of Trump mimicking New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski.
"And what if I told you I have a tape of him calling African-Americans, and I'm quoting here, 'sons of bitches?'" Lemon asked, before showing Trump encouraging NFL team owners to fire players who kneel during the National Anthem.
"Get that son of a bitch off the field right now," Trump said.
Or how about when Trump urged his supporters to "knock the crap out of" protesters at one of his rallies?
Lemon expressed his skepticism that a recording of Trump using the n-word would be surprising and if it could possibly lower the public's dismal view of the president.
I wish I could say that it would make a difference if, on top of all of that, there ever did turn out to be a tape of the president using the N-word, That Americans would never tolerate language like that from a candidate or a president. But maybe the truth would be very different. Maybe it wouldn’t change anything.
"We already know that the president seems immune from even the broadest standards of decency we’ve had in common in the past," Lemon concluded. "Another tape wouldn’t change anything. Think about it. Am I wrong?"
Earlier this month, Trump referred to Lemon as the "dumbest man on television" while also implying that Lebron James isn't smart. Lemon was reporting on James' opening of a school for underprivileged children.
Lebron James was just interviewed by the dumbest man on television, Don Lemon. He made Lebron look smart, which isn… https://t.co/pLmjfeGj6d— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1533353856.0
The president has denied ever using the n-word, tweeting that he doesn't "have that word in my vocabulary."
.@MarkBurnettTV called to say that there are NO TAPES of the Apprentice where I used such a terrible and disgusting… https://t.co/qH7J8U3RCF— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1534211405.0
While no proof of a recording of Trump using the n-word has been made public (yet), Lemon's fear that it would be brushed off as 'Trump being Trump' should shake us all as Americans.