CNN's Don Lemon: 'The president of the United States is racist'

CNN host Don Lemon began his show Thursday night by labeling President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump appears to confirm deal on Chinese firm ZTE Judge rejects Manafort's attempt to throw out some charges Dem: Trump’s policy of separating children, parents at border ‘would shock Jesus’ MORE “racist” following reports that the president called Haiti and African nations “shithole countries.”

“The president of the United States is racist,” Lemon said at the opening of his show. “A lot of us already knew that.”

Lemon was responding to reports from The Washington Post and other media outlets that Trump referred to immigrants from Haiti and African countries as coming from “shithole countries.”

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“Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?” Trump reportedly said in an Oval Office meeting with lawmakers while discussing protections for immigrants from several countries.

Trump then reportedly said that the U.S. should bring in more immigrants from countries like Norway, whose prime minister he met with the previous day.

Lemon called those remarks “disgusting.”

“There’s other language I’d like to use, but we are on television,” Lemon said. “But you know what? They’re not shocking. They’re not even really surprising. Because this is who Donald Trump is.”

Earlier Thursday, fellow CNN host Anderson Cooper slammed Trump’s remarks, calling them “racist.”

In a statement Thursday, the White House did not deny Trump’s “shithole” comments.

Trump’s remarks sparked outrage from both sides of the aisle, with Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchThe Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — Trump now says Korea summit could still happen June 12 The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — The art of walking away from the deal Overnight Finance: Trump signs Dodd-Frank rollback | Snubs key Dems at ceremony | Senate confirms banking regulator | Lawmakers lash out on Trump auto tariffs MORE (R-Utah) calling on Trump to give a “detailed explanation” for his remarks and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) calling Trump’s comment “racism masquerading poorly as immigration policy.”

Lemon has criticized Trump on the topic before. In November, the CNN host tore into Trump for calling Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenFortune 500 CEOs: The professional athletes of corporate America The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by PhRMA — The art of walking away from the deal Rising star Abrams advances in Georgia governor race MORE (D-Mass.) "Pocahontas" during a White House event honoring Navajo Code Talkers.

“Just because you say you’re not racist doesn’t make it so,” Lemon said after playing a clip of Trump claiming that he is "the least racist person that you have ever met."