Don Lemon on Kanye West's Oval Office Meeting: His Mom Is 'Rolling Over in Her Grave'

October 12, 2018

CNN host Don Lemon on Thursday invoked Kanye West's deceased mom to castigate the rapper's Oval Office meeting with President Donald Trump, saying she was "rolling over in her grave."

West, who was wearing a red "Make America Great Again" hat, sat with Trump at the Oval Office desk and chatted in front of reporters and photographers for more than 10 minutes, praising the president and saying the cap made him feel like Superman.

The music artist and entrepreneur was invited to the White House for lunch with the president, former NFL star Jim Brown, and Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and top adviser. Manufacturing, prison reform and gang violence were all topics on the afternoon's agenda.

West's performance didn't impress Lemon, prompting him to rant on CNN for several minutes about how West was embarrassing himself and that he needed to get help.

"I have no animosity for Kanye West. I'm just going to be honest, and I may get in a lot of trouble for it. I actually feel bad for him. What I saw was a minstrel show today," Lemon said. "Him in front of all these white people, mostly white people, embarrassing himself and embarrassing Americans, but mostly African Americans, because every one of them is sitting either at home or with their phones, watching this, cringing."

Lemon went on to say that he had to cut the television off because he was cringing at him "being used" by Trump. He said Trump was exploiting him and added that West needed to get away from the cameras to "deal with his issues," appearing to reference West's past diagnosis of a "mental condition."

"This has nothing to do with being liberal or conservative. This is to do with honesty," Lemon said, "and we have to stop pretending sitting here on these CNN panels or on whatever networks panels and pretending like this is normal and 'let's have this conversation about Kanye West and what he said.' Who cares? Why are you sending cameras to the Oval Office for Kanye West?"

"This was an embarrassment. Kanye's mother is rolling over in her grave. I spoke to one of her friends today or texted with one of her friends today from Chicago. Donda's friends. I used to live there. I know them. She said, 'Donda would be embarrassed by this. She would be terrible disturbed by this.' And Kanye has not been the same since his mother died," Lemon added.

Lemon was not the only member of the media to have a meltdown over West's White House meeting. MSNBC co-anchors Stephanie Ruhle and Ali Velshi erupted after the meeting, saying it was "bonkers" and "an assault on our White House."