Don Lemon reacts perfectly to Donald Trump's "unhinged" Phoenix speech

After Donald Trump's unhinged speech, Don Lemon expressed disbelief at all the lies

Published August 23, 2017 7:35AM (EDT)

 (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

By the time President Donald Trump had finished his speech in Phoenix, Arizona on Tuesday, CNN anchor Don Lemon was in a somber mood.

"What we have witnessed is a total eclipse of the facts," Lemon observed. "Someone who came out on stage and lied directly to the American people and left things out that he said in an attempt to rewrite history, especially when it comes to Charlottesville."

It is likely that Lemon was referring to Trump's attempt at defending his response to the racist riots at Charlottesville. As CNN reported, when Trump read one of his Charlottesville statements to his audience, he omitted the fact that he had said "on many sides" after initially stating that "we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence."

Because the initial controversy over his response was his claim that "many sides" were responsible for the violence, it was dishonest for him to leave out those words while criticizing the media for drawing attention to the controversy.

He also neglected to mention how he had said there were "fine people" marching with the white supremacists in Charlottesville, which was another major source of criticism against his response.

Nor were Trump's polemics limited to the events at Charlottesville. The president also brought up Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who in July was convicted of criminal contempt for disregarding a federal order requiring him to stop detaining individuals who he merely suspected of being undocumented immigrants. As Trump told the cheering crowd, "So was Sheriff Joe convicted for doing his job? You know what, I’ll make a prediction: I think he’s going to be just fine, okay? But I won’t do it tonight because I don’t want to cause any controversy. But Sheriff Joe should feel good."

This remark was offered in the context of Trump having told Fox News on Tuesday that he is "seriously considering" pardoning Arpaio.

Trump's other major policy points in the speech were suggesting that he might support a government shutdown if "obstructionist Democrats" refuse to support his proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall and that he would end NAFTA if Canada and Mexico wouldn't come around to his position on striking up a new trade deal.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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Border Wall Charlottesville Donald Trump Joe Arpaio Nafta