CNN host Don Lemon wasted little time blasting President Donald Trump following his Rose Garden address to the nation Sunday while military police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at peaceful protesters.
According to The Daily Beast, Lemon immediately grasped the severity of Trump’s words as they reflected many of the dictators the U.S. has helped defeat throughout history.
“This was a made for television moment,” Lemon said. “Open your eyes, America. Open your eyes. We are teetering on a dictatorship. This is chaos.”
“Is the president declaring war on Americans?” Lemon, who hosts CNN Tonight asked. “What is happening here? He’s saying he wants to protect peaceful protesters at the same time sending law enforcement and military into the streets to push peaceful protesters back, to be aggressive with peaceful protesters. He is doing the exact opposite of what he said in that speech.”
Lemon described the feelings of many of the protesters Sunday night, saying “There are a lot of Americans who are out on these streets who are upset, who are frustrated, who are angry.”
The CNN host also stressed he does not condone violence at any level and hopes that the protests remain peaceful. On Sunday, President Trump said if the protests continue he would invoke the Insurrection Act of 1807. The Act gives the president the power to deploy military troops within the United States in particular circumstances while suppressing civil disorder, insurrection, and rebellion qualify under the Act.
“Now, the entire country, according to his orders, we are living under a militarized country or we will be soon and it will play out in front of our very eyes on national television,” Lemon said Sunday night.
President Trump has been supporting violence to clamp down on the protests since last week. Last Saturday, Twitter added a warning label to one of Trump’s tweets for inciting violence.