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Don Lemon: Kanye West's meeting with Trump was a 'minstrel show'

CNN host Don Lemon forcefully criticized rapper Kanye West on Thursday for the things he said during a meeting with President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump renews attacks against Tester over VA nominee on eve of Montana rally Trump submits 2017 federal income tax returns Corker: Trump administration 'clamped down' on Saudi intel, canceled briefing MORE in the Oval Office, calling it a "minstrel show."

"I have no animosity for Kanye West,” Lemon said on CNN. “I'm just going to be honest and I may get in a lot of trouble for it. I actually feel bad for him. What I saw was a minstrel show today.

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“Him in front of all these white people, mostly white people, embarrassing himself and embarrassing Americans, but mostly African-Americans, because every one of them is sitting either at home or with their phones, watching this, cringing."

Lemon later added that Trump exploited someone "who needs help" and "who needs to deal with his issues" during the much-publicized meeting. 

"Kanye needs help, this has nothing to do with being liberal or a conservative. We have to stop pretending... like this is normal," Lemon said, before admonishing the media for covering the event. 

His criticism of West came just hours after West met with Trump in the White House to discuss a range of issues, such as the prison system, the 13th Amendment and ways to improve life for African-Americans in inner cities. 

Among other things, West, who donned a red "Make America Great Again" hat during the meeting, said Trump may have been surprised that a "crazy motherf---er" like West would endorse him. 
 
"Trump is on his hero’s journey right now," West said.
 
West has attracted notable scrutiny for his unwavering support of Trump. He stirred controversy last month after going on a pro-Trump rant during an appearance on "Saturday Night Live."  
 
Lemon has repeatedly criticized Trump throughout his presidency. He said earlier this that the president "traffics in racism and is fueled by bullying" after Trump attacked NBA star LeBron James for comments he made during an interview with the CNN host.