CNN host Don Lemon on Tuesday night suggested President Donald Trump's rhetoric on immigration could lead him down the same path as Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, saying it starts with "little lies."
During a conversation with his colleague Chris Cuomo about CNN airing Trump's speeches, Lemon uses Hitler as an "extreme" example of someone that people should question when it comes to whether they should be given a platform.
"If you could look back in history, would you say, 'Well, I'm so glad that that person was allowed a platform so that they could spread their hate and propaganda and lies' or would you say, 'It probably wasn't the right thing to do to spread that' because you knew in the moment that that was a bad person and they were doing bad things. Not only were they hurting people, they were killing people," Lemon said.
Cuomo pushed back at Lemon invoking Hitler, saying it was a "very extreme example" and said that the example "matters." Lemon then mentioned the Central Park Five and how Trump's rhetoric on the case is a life or death situation for black males like him. He then mentioned how immigrants and Trump's "shit hole countries" comment hurts people of color, adding, "This is not standard. This is not normal."
"Comparing anything to an extreme like a Hitler weakens the argument because you are now taking a guy who says things you don't like and comparing him to a genocidal maniac," Cuomo said.
Cuomo said he wasn't making this comparison, adding he was comparing how CNN would cover a "bad person."
"It's creating a false standard. A guy who says things I don't like, that's abusive of the truth, who can be obnoxious for effect, and pander to a group of people in this country is not necessarily a step away from a genocidal maniac," Cuomo said.
"It starts with little lies. It starts with little lies that become bigger lies and people who became brainwashed," Lemon said. "Ask anybody who had a family member who went to Guyana. It started with a little thing. People start to buy into it and all of a sudden it becomes a reality to you. Good people follow bad people."
He went on to say that brainwashing starts with small truths mixed in with falsities to capitalize on brainwashing people.
"That's how a lot of cons work," Cuomo said, prompting Lemon to roll his eyes. " A con is something that isn't true versus a cult versus a genocidal maniac, I just think you should go one step at a time."
"Well. Just saying," Lemon said. "Be careful."