“So I watched this guy, he’s a terrible … he’s not a smart person, at all. But I watch that phony laugh. That wasn’t a laugh. He was trying to act, puts his head down, always laughing so hard,” Trump told Fox News’ Sean Hannity as part of an exclusive interview conducted just before the Super Bowl,y. “There’s nothing funny about what was said.”
The panel, which originally aired Jan. 25, featured Lemon, New York Times columnist and CNN contributor Wajahat Ali, and ex-GOP strategist Rick Wilson discussing the heated exchange between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and an NPR reporter, in which Pompeo allegedly challenged the journalist to point out Ukraine on a blank map.
Wilson used the topic to mock President Trump as well as his supporters.
“[Pompeo] also knows deep within his heart that Donald Trump couldn’t find Ukraine on a map if you had the letter U and a picture of an actual physical crane next to it,” Wilson began, causing Lemon to chuckle. “He knows that this is, you know, an administration defined by ignorance of the world. And so that’s partly him playing to the base and playing to their audience. You know, the credulous boomer rube demo that backs Donald Trump.”
As Lemon began crying with tears of laughter, Wilson went on to depict what he thought a typical Trump supporter sounded like.
“‘Donald Trump’s the smart one — and y’all elitists are dumb!'” Wilson said with a heavy southern accent.
“‘You elitists with your geography and your maps- and your spelling!'” Ali chimed in during the mockery.
“That was good,” Lemon said, laughing so hard he nearly lost his breath. “That was a good one. I needed that.”
Conservatives criticized the segment and the Republican National Committee used clips of the segment in a fundraising ad.
Lemon addressed the issue this past Tuesday, saying he didn’t catch everything that Wilson had said and he was not laughing at Trump supporters.
“Ask anyone who knows me, they’ll tell you — I don’t believe in belittling people, belittling anyone for who they are, what they believe, or where they’re from,” Lemon said.
Fox News’ Brie Stimson contributed to this report.
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