CNN host Don Lemon hosted a panel discussion Wednesday night about President Donald Trump's remarks at a Black History Month event, and the conversation took a turn for the worse when one of the panelists accused Trump of not caring about black Americans.
During a breakfast to mark Black History Month in February, Trump made a comment about the famous abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who died in 1895. "Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who's done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I notice," Trump said Wednesday. Some critics claimed that Trump was insinuating that Douglass was still alive.
Discussing the event and Trump's remarks, the panelists went back and forth over whether Trump or his Press Secretary Sean Spicer even knew who Frederick Douglass was. CNN commentator and former Bernie Sanders campaign press secretary Symone Sanders insisted Trump didn't know much about black history or Douglass, while fellow panelist CNN political commentator Paris Dennard argued that Trump's remarks were being taken out of context.
"Play the whole tape for your audience to see and I think it'll speak for itself. I think you're taking what he said out of context, he was by no means talking as if Frederick Douglass was alive and well today," Dennard said. "I was in the room and I understand what he was saying and there is a difference."
When Sanders interjected to say she would not have gone to the White House even if she was invited because she doesn't believe Trump has a genuine interest in building relationships with the African-American community. "He's only given us rhetoric, he hasn't given us any action," Sanders said.
Unleashing a tirade about what she believes to be Trump's negative actions toward the black community, Sanders brought up Trump's nomination of Betsy DeVos, along with his nomination of Sen. Jeff Sessions as attorney general and said Sessions didn't believe in protecting civil rights for black people.
"Donald Trump is disingenuous and I'm going to take a page out of Kanye West's book — Donald Trump doesn't care about black people, and until he shows me otherwise, that's where I am," Sanders remarked.
"That's unfortunate for you — and for the listeners to hear that type of remark about the President of the United States," Dennard responded.