After a heated exchange between CNN contributor Charles Kaiser and Trump-surrogate Paris Dennard in which Kaiser said Donald Trump’s chief strategist Stephen Bannon is “a man who uses the word n*gger,” CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin was visibly upset and wept. “That’s not okay!” said Baldwin.
Baldwin had asked Kaiser for his reaction to news today that President-elect Donald Trump had visited with the editors and writers of the New York Times. She asked how Trump might discourage any association with him on the part of white supremacists, who gathered this week in Washington. “Donald Trump has disavowed this group. Is that enough?” asked Baldwin. Kaiser responded, “I’m delighted that Mr. Trump has visited my alma mater at The New York Times and said he doesn’t want to do this anymore, but I want to give him a little advice for the future if he does not want to stimulate the alt-right.” He also accused Trump of encouraging his supporters to use the Nazi salute at a rally this year.
Kaiser went on to offer advice to Trump, “...if you don’t want to support the alt-right, don’t choose as a White House Counselor a man who uses the word n*gger, whose wife says that he did not want his daughters to go to a school with too many Jews, and don’t choose as an attorney general a man who calls the NAACP an un-American organization and who we learned in The Guardian today went so far as to prosecute –.”
Baldwin cut him off and requested that he not use the racial epithet on her show.
The other person on the show, CNN contributor Paris Dennard, thanked Baldwin for calling Kaiser out on using the “highly offensive and inappropriate” epithet. As to whether or not Trump’s disavowal of white racists is “enough,” Denard said “I believe it is enough. I believe that Mr. Trump has to say these things, not every single time because you just can’t go down the list every time some crazy whack-job on the far extremist white supremacist says something in support of you.”
Kaiser interrupted Dennard repeatedly as he defended Trump, Bannon, and Breitbart News. Breitbart has repeatedly denied associations with white supremacists and referred to Kaiser's charges against Bannon as "slander." When Dennard defended Trump's pick for attorney general, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Kaiser said, “I think it’s shameful any African-American would support this man to be Attorney General.” Dennard replied: “Sir, you don’t know why — you know what? I don’t question your allegiance to the people you support. I will tell you why I support Mr. Trump, who’s the President-elect, because I think he’s going to do good things for this country and particularly good things for my community.”
Wrapping up the segment, Baldwin spoke straight to the camera and said, “The more I’ve sat here and listened to the fact that somebody used the ‘N-word’ –(sigh) it is not okay. It is not okay, Charles Kaiser. I respect you, I enjoy having you as a guest — but not okay. By the way, the claim that Mr. Bannon used the ‘N-word,’ I’ve never heard of this, so there’s that. Take a break.”
Over the weekend, a small white supremacist group led by Richard Spencer, met in Washington where members were seen thrusting out their arms in the Hitlerian salute and crying “Hail Trump.” When asked for a response, the Trump organization issued a statement, which said, “President-elect Trump has continued to denounce racism of any kind and he was elected because he will be a leader for every American. To think otherwise is a complete misrepresentation of the movement that united Americans from all backgrounds.”
For the MSNBC news organization, the disavowal was apparently insufficient. An article on the news site read, “If you’re thinking this seems like a rather vague and hollow response given the circumstances, you’re not alone. Asked to condemn a specific event, led by specific extremists, who made specific remarks, Team Trump chose to denounce racism in general – saying literally nothing about Saturday’s gathering or the movement the radicals comprise.”
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