CNN Changes Graphic as Nasty Don Lemon Attacks Black Pastor Who Met Trump

In a shameful display Monday night, CNN host Don Lemon viciously attacked his guest, Pastor Bill Owens, for daring to meet with President Trump. Lemon progressively got nastier with his antagonistic questioning when Owens wouldn’t call the President, racist. Lemon even went so far as to attack the pastor’s Christian faith and character.

Lemon started the interview by asking if any of the black faith leaders and pastors had raised “concerns” about the Baltimore tweets with the President. Owens said there may have been “something said in passing” but he didn’t “tune in to negative talk” and the purpose of the meeting was to address how to help inner city youth. But Lemon kept badgering, asking another three times:

 

 

LEMON: We have a delay. For the sake of time, I don't mean to cut you off. The question was what did the President say about his attacks against the leaders of color and did any of the faith leaders raise concerns about that?

...

Did anybody there raise concerns about what he's been saying lately about people like Elijah Cummings or anyone?

...

Any concern for you that the President used this meeting with black leaders to insulate himself from the criticism?

 

At the start of the segment, the CNN graphic was friendly. It read: “President hosts African American pastors and faith leaders at the White House.” After the interview became contentious, it was changed to “Controversial African American Pastor Meets With President.” (See contrasting graphics at right and below.) 

After Owens wouldn’t give Lemon the answer he was looking for, (that Trump was a racist and the black pastors had berated him for it), Lemon swiftly turned to attacking his guest for his stance against same-sex marriage, sneering that no one should take Owens, “seriously:”

So, pastor you have said controversial things before in 2012 you equated President Obama support of same sex marriage to supporting child molestation. You later walked that back. But that in itself is an outrageous statement. Why should anyone take you seriously?

After some back-and-forth on that, Lemon went back to the race-baiting, condescendingly asking Owens why it was “hard” for him to believe Trump was racist:

"So I know it's hard for you, you think it's hard to believe that Trump is racist. But he's repeatedly used racially charged language. He consistently attacks black and brown elected leaders. So, why is that hard to believe? Pastor?" he charged. 

Owens shot back that Trump “attacks anybody and you know it.” Lemon wasn’t done slamming his guest’s character, this time going after his faith and putting words in Owen’s mouth:

As a man of faith, as a Christian. He attacks anyone. It sounds like you're condoning attacks? Is that Christianly? Or Godly?” Lemon sneered.

The interview quickly devolved from there. You can watch the embarrassing display in the video above or read the full interview in the transcript below.

 

CNN Tonight With Don Lemon

7/29/2019

10:17:05-10:24:04 PM EST

DON LEMON: The President met today with 20 African American pastors and faith leaders at the White House today behind closed doors at the White House. Joining me now is one of those pastors, Reverend Bill Owens,the founder and president of the coalition of African American pastors. Thank you so much for joining good evening to you. What did the president say about his attacks against the leaders of color and did any of the faith leaders raise concerns about that?

OWENS: Well, I think something was said in passing. I don't tune in to negative talk from any side. So, some things were mentioned and I took the position that we as black pastors should go down to Baltimore and see what we can do to help. I'm not going to criticize if there's a need because I was born poor. When I was up until I was eight years old. I lived in a two room house, no water, no lights, pot belly stove in the kitchen. And until I was eight years old. So I’m from poverty.

DON LEMON: We have a delay. For the sake of time, I don't mean to cut you off. The question was what did the President say about his attacks against the leaders of color and did any of the faith leaders raise concerns about that?

OWENS: I don't remember him saying anything about color leaders--leaders that are colored. There was some things discussed that were said, but I don't remember him referring to leaders of color.

LEMON: Did anybody there raise concerns about what he's been saying lately about people like Elijah Cummings or anyone?

OWENS: Well, that was not the purpose of the meeting today. Today the meeting was how can we help the black community. That is my concern. That was the purpose of the meeting. That is the reason I came to Washington. That is my focus. Helping our inner city young people especially. Our children. Our young people.

LEMON: So the President tweeted today he was looking forward to his meeting with wonderful inner city pastors. Any concern for you that the President used this meeting with black leaders to insulate himself from the criticism?

OWENS: I don't think so. I don't think that at all because I have been to the White House four times in five months. There was nothing about insulating him from anything. He wanted to hear from us. Our concerns and what he could do to help us.

LEMON: So, pastor you have said controversial things before in 2012 you equated president Obama support of same sex marriage to supporting child molestation. You later walked that back. But that in itself is an outrageous statement. Why should anyone take you seriously?

OWENS: I never said that. I have never said that. I have a difference with Obama about same sex marriage. I never mentioned a child about President Obama. Never never never. If I did, find it. I never said that.

LEMON: This is a quote. ‘If you watch the men who have been caught having sex with little boys you will note all of them will say they were molested as a child. For the president to do this type of thing is irresponsible.’ He walked the comments back saying he didn't think the president was condoning molestation. Is that not correct? ?

OWENS: That is correct. I never felt the president was doing -- as a matter of fact the president is a gentleman. We had a deep conversation with one of his key assistants to talk about the things that we disagreed with. The only thing I disagreed with was same sex marriage. That's it. The only thing. Then the reporters tried to get me into other avenues and I would not deliver because I feel same sex marriage was unGodly -- I took that position then and take it now.

LEMON: So I know it's hard for you, you think it's hard to believe that Trump is racist. But he's repeatedly used racially charged language. He consistently attacks black and brown elected leaders. So, why is that hard to believe? Pastor?

OWENS: I find President Trump, leaders of all colors. He attacks who he will. He's his own man. I can't dictate what he should and shouldn't do. He doesn't just attack black people. He attacks anybody, and you know it.

LEMON: As a man of faith, as a Christian. He attacks anyone. It sounds like you're condoning attacks? Is that Christianly? Or Godly?

OWENS: It's a statement of fact. I'm not condoning anything want president trump doesn't pick the people he attacks. Because of color. He attacks anybody he feels needed.

LEMON: And is that okay with you?

OWENS: I'm not his judge. I have been attacked. Let me tell you something, let me give you background. I was in seminary. And I started recruiting students for this university. And I got criticism from my leaders. For ministers why are you down at that white man school? So I'm used to criticism. I couldn’t believe it We started out with three students and put 400 students in a university, inner city students.... That this ministry was born out of. Asking the university to give the students a chance to go to college--

LEMON: Listen I appreciate your giving me your biography, I do, but for the same of time, what does that have to do with this president?

OWENS: I was criticizing then and I’m criticized now, direct or indirect, for meeting with the president. What I'm saying is I do what I can to help the young people. Where ever it is, however it is. And I have an agenda to help the black young people and poor people of any color throughout this country. I have done it and I will do it again. I will work with the president on that again.

LEMON: Did you work with President Obama on that agenda?

OWENS: I worked with all presidents on that agenda. All presidents. I’ll work with anybody that wants to help this country and help our inner city young people. I don't want them to have to go through what I went through to get where I am. Thank God I'm blessed. Starting from nothing on the other side of scratch. I have three university degrees. I thank God for that because God blessed me in this great country.

LEMON: Pastor Owens, thank you so much for coming on. I appreciate your time.

 

NB Daily Racism Religion Christianity CNN Tonight Don Lemon Donald Trump
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