CNN’s Chris Cuomo to Trump: ‘Attack the racists instead of targeting mostly black protesters’

CNN anchor Chris Cuomo this week questioned why President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats slide in battle for Senate Trump believes Kushner relationship with Saudi crown prince a liability: report Christine Blasey Ford to be honored by Palo Alto City Council MORE appeared to prioritize criticizing African American athletes over racism.

During the "Closing Arguments" section of Cuomo Prime Time, the CNN anchor suggested that the president could find an easy "win" by extending an olive branch to black athletes.


"So many protesting players, white and black, have said this isn't about disrespecting the flag. He knows that," Cuomo said. "He doesn't seem to care. Why?"

"It's OK if it divides people and stokes prejudices. That's leadership? That's winning?" he added. "This is like jingoism - patriotism that's really about targeting a minority. In this case, mostly black players."

"So here's my argument," Cuomo continued. "We only know what you show. If you are not a racist, then attack the racists instead of targeting mostly black protesters and suggesting they are dumb."

Cuomo's comments come ahead of Trump's tweet on Saturday condemning "all types of racism and acts of violence."

Trump has faced criticism for his repeated attacks on NFL players who protest during the national anthem at games.

The president renewed his call for suspensions for players who protest during the anthem on Friday, tweeting that players who participate in kneeling protests "wanted to show their ‘outrage’ at something that most of them are unable to define.”

"Be happy, be cool! A football game, that fans are paying soooo much money to watch and enjoy, is no place to protest," the president continued. "Most of that money goes to the players anyway."

The NFL passed a rule this year stating that players must remain standing during the national anthem's performance during football games, but the rule is on pause pending a dispute with the players' union.

“No new rules relating to the anthem will be issued or enforced for the next several weeks while these confidential discussions are ongoing," the league said in a statement last month.