CNN's Lemon breaks down while reading letter to Trump, Gold Star widow

CNN anchor Don Lemon broke down in tears while reading an open letter he wrote to President Trump and Gold Star widow Myeshia Johnson, who lost her husband during an ambush in Niger on Oct. 4.

The open letter from Lemon comes after Johnson told ABC's "Good Morning America" on Monday that she was "very angry" about the president's condolence phone call and was particularly upset because she claimed he struggled to "remember my husband's name."

Trump responded almost immediately after the interview on Twitter, stating he "had a very respectful conversation with the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson, and spoke his name from beginning, without hesitation!”

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Lemon responded Monday night at the top of the CNN program he anchors, "CNN Tonight."

"Dear Mr. President, I interviewed you multiple times. You’ve introduced me to your family. You’ve also criticized me publicly, both in front of cameras and on Twitter, calling me ‘hateful’, ‘dumb’, a ‘lightweight’ ... We know you get a lot of your news from TV," Lemon said.

"Several of your friends and supporters have told me you watch this show. So, since I have this platform, I’d like to speak to you personally right now. I feel compelled to do that after this latest controversy with the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson," he continued. "Your tweet this morning essentially called her a liar. Mr. Trump, please stop it. Please, stop. Think of what Sgt. Johnson would want."

Lemon later pivoted to address Myeshia Johnson.

"To be extremely candid with you and with the world, as a black man I’m always looking for role models who look like me and the latest one I found was your husband, La David," he said, fighting back tears.

"May he rest in peace and may you find peace when you can finally get a good night’s sleep knowing that this is America. We got your back. Believe that. Signed, me — Don Lemon," the host concluded.

The commentary from the anchor comes as the controversy showed no signs of letting up as a major topic on cable news, entering its eighth day Tuesday.