The “CNN Tonight” host said he didn’t buy Trump’s claim, which he made in response to the mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in which an alleged white supremacist gunman killed at least 49 people.
For Trump “to not be able to know that right-wing extremism is on the rise is very ignorant,” said Lemon, who suggested the president was being politically expedient with his comments.
“He knows that he says he is not racist but the racists think he’s racist and they support him and he doesn’t want to lose that support, ” Lemon continued.
“He cannot win an election with just his base next time and they are a big, they’re a very vocal and active part of his base. I won’t say a big part. But a very vocal and active part of his base and he knows that,” he added. “Donald Trump knows what’s happening. He knows what’s up.”