CNN anchor Don LemonDon Carlton LemonCNN's Don Lemon sued by Hamptons bartender over alleged assault Scarborough blasts 2020 Democrats for attacking Obama's policies more than Trump's Lemon raises Trump's 'racist rhetoric' to candidates after president's criticism MORE on Friday praised the U.S. Air Force Academy superintendent who delivered a stern lecture on diversity to cadets this week, saying he offered leadership where President TrumpDonald John TrumpO'Rourke: Trump driving global, U.S. economy into recession Manchin: Trump has 'golden opportunity' on gun reforms Objections to Trump's new immigration rule wildly exaggerated MORE has not.

"I couldn't turn away from the general's words – no one should," Leon said on "CNN Tonight." "They are a stark reminder of everything our president is not saying. The general knows there aren't many sides to racism. He knows people who protest inequality are not 'sons of b-----es.'"

"The president should be ashamed of himself for dividing America when he could be bringing us together; dragging the country down instead of lifting us up," he added. "We need a leader, and that general – that speech – that's what a leader sounds like. That's what a leader looks like."


Air Force Lt. General Jay Silveria, the top administrator at the Air Force Academy, entered the spotlight this week after video surfaced of him delivering a speech on diversity and respect to cadets in response to racial slurs that appeared on message boards at the academy's preparatory school.

In the lecture, Silveria said that cadets who could not commit to treating others with dignity and respect should "get out" of the academy.

"If you can't treat someone with dignity and respect, then you need to get out," he said. "If you can't treat someone from another gender, whether that's a man or a woman, with dignity and respect, then you need to get out."

"If you demean someone in any way, then you need to get out. And if you can't treat someone from another race or a different color skin with dignity and respect, then you need to get out."

Lemon's comments on Friday came a week after Trump blasted NFL players who kneel during the national anthem to protest racial inequality and police brutality.