Democratic strategist David Axelrod and singer John Legend clashed Friday night in a heated argument over whether Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate GOP budget ignores Trump, cuts defense Trump says he'll nominate Stephen Moore to Fed White House: ISIS territory in Syria has been 100 percent eliminated MORE is a racist.

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During a panel discussion on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher,” Axelrod said that he believe Trump’s campaign rhetoric was “offensive” and “outrageous,” but he didn’t consider the president-elect a racist.

"I think he’s an opportunist who exploited race and served racism, and that to me is more offensive," Axelrod said.

"That’s a distinction without a difference," Legend shot back.

Axelrod disagreed, saying the fact that Trump "knows better" makes his rhetoric even worse.

"If you want to be president of the United States, it is insidious to manipulate race in the way that he did," the former White House senior adviser to President Obama said.