WATCH: CNN's Van Jones lights into Trump surrogate Jeffrey Lord over his boss's racism

Lord also adamantly denied that Trump has said anything racist in the campaign to date

Published June 8, 2016 12:06PM (EDT)

Jeffrey Lord, Van Jones (Credit: CNN)
Jeffrey Lord, Van Jones (Credit: CNN)

Donald Trump adviser Jeffrey Lord appeared on CNN's Super Tuesday coverage to discuss, once again, his candidate's racist remarks about the judge presiding over the Trump University case. For Van Jones, however, Trump's difficulties with race run deeper than merely assuming that Judge Gonzalo Curriel is "Mexican."

Jones noted that Trump says "I want to build a wall" and "protect America," but now "this is not about his patriotism, this about him, this is about his pocketbook, this is about his reputation -- and this is about appeals to race."

"Now," he continued, directing his attention at Lord, "you are the one who says appeals to race should be taken out [of the judicial system]." The problem with that, Jones noted, is that "if I said, 'you can't be my judge because you're a white man, and white men have done horrible things to me,' you'd say I was a racist -- but when Trump says a Mexican can't be his judge or part of his jury, he's a hero? An anti-racist?"

"You have been brilliant, sir," Jones added, "figuring out before anybody else what he was going to be able to [get away with]. You have found ways to defend him. You are now out of defenses -- you can’t say this is racism. I now think you are beyond the reality of a rational mind to follow you."

"If I thought he was a racist," Lord replied, "I wouldn't be here."

"Fair enough," Jones said, "I don't think he's a racist either -- he's a racial opportunist."

"So you think he's just like Al Sharpton, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama then?" Lord asked.

"Do you think [Trump]'s said anything that's racist?" an exasperated Jones replied.

"No!" Lord said.

Watch the entire segment below via CNN.

By Scott Eric Kaufman

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Cnn Donald Trump Elections 2016 Jeffrey Lord Racism Van Jones Video