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CNN's Don Lemon: Trump once called me a racist after a tough interview

CNN host Don Lemon said Tuesday evening that President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Gillum and DeSantis’s first debate GOP warns economy will tank if Dems win Gorbachev calls Trump's withdrawal from arms treaty 'a mistake' MORE once promised that he would never do an interview with him again because he said the broadcaster was racist.

“He had vowed that he would never do an interview with me because he said I was racist, because I challenged him on an in-factual statement, a lie," Lemon said on CNN's "The Situation Room," alluding to his questioning of Trump regarding the conspiracy that former President Obama was not born in the U.S. 

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“[He said] that I was racist because of the way that I challenged him. Much in the way that he thought that I can’t be unbiased about an issue concerning race, like Judge [Gonzalo] Curiel, because I’m African-American. So he accused me of being racist," Lemon added, referring to the judge presiding over a lawsuit against Trump University. Trump claimed Curiel's Mexican heritage prevented him from being unbiased in the case in light of Trump's proposal to build a wall on the southern border. 

Lemon said that the interview he was referring to happened the night Osama Bin Laden was killed in 2011 and that it was the last time Trump agreed to appear on his show before he ran for president. 

While running for president, Trump appeared on Lemon's show several times. But Lemon said once Trump became president, his stance shifted again. 

"Once he became president of the United States, and you have to hold his feet to the fire, all of a sudden he doesn’t like what I’m doing,” Lemon said. “Because I have to call out the lies, or the misstatements, or when he gets something wrong, or when he does something crazy, or when he tweets something that’s just beyond the pale. All of a sudden he doesn’t like me.”

Lemon's statements came the same day he ripped into Trump during a monologue on his show, "CNN Tonight with Don Lemon," saying Trump "traffics in racism and is fueled by bullying."

Trump last week attacked NBA star LeBron James for comments he made during an interview with Lemon. Trump also labeled Lemon the "dumbest man on television" and questioned James's intelligence, comments that fueled outrage from many public figures and athletes.