CNN anchor Don Lemon accused President Trump of trying to "ignite a civil war" by aggressively counterattacking the news media over race issues.
After Trump hosted one of his signature campaign-style rallies Tuesday night in Phoenix, wherein he called the media "damned dishonest," Lemon said the president's intent was to further divide people on race.
"But he has given oxygen to racists," Lemon said on CNN. "He hasn't really said anything or denounced the alt-right — he talked about the KKK and whatever. He hasn't really done that. He is clearly trying to ignite a civil war in this country. He has not tamped down race. And I'm just going to say if he was on my team in this newsroom and said those things, he would be escorted out of the building by security."
The president's rally in Phoenix included a heavy dose of his trademark vitriol toward the media, including attacks aimed specifically at CNN, ABC, and the Washington Post. Trump took particular offense to the way those outlets covered the fallout from Charlottesville, Va.
"The only people giving a platform to these hate groups is the media itself and the fake news," Trump said.