Don Lemon: 'Right-winger' responsible for synagogue shooting; 'I don't see Democrats killing people'

Don Lemon: 'Right-winger' responsible for synagogue shooting; 'I don't see Democrats killing people'
© CNN

CNN anchor Don Lemon said Monday night that you can't compare a supporter of Sen. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersDemocratic Socialists of America endorses Sanders for president Trump on 2020 Dems skipping AIPAC: 'I think they're anti-Jewish' The Hill's Morning Report — Washington readies for Mueller end game MORE (I-Vt.) who attempted to kill Republican lawmakers last year to a "right-winger" suspected in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting and the "right-winger" who allegedly sent bombs to the network and Democrats.

Lemon added during a panel discussion on his primetime program that he doesn't "see Democrats killing people." 

The debate began after CNN political commentator Mark Shields argued that assigning blame to anyone but the shooter in the Saturday massacre in Pittsburgh is "outrageous" and "disgusting."

ADVERTISEMENT

Lemon disagreed, stating the Sanders supporter who wounded four Republicans including House Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseTrump keeps tight grip on GOP GOP lawmakers: House leaders already jockeying for leadership contests House Republicans find silver lining in minority MORE (R-La.) during a congressional baseball practice can't be compared to the suspected synagogue shooter or the Florida man who allegedly who sent pipe bombs to prominent Democrats and CNN because "Bernie Sanders is not the president of the United States."

“This is not equal," Lemon said after some back-and-forth with Shields. "The right-wing group killed a woman in Charlottesville. This guy is a right-winger who killed the people in the synagogue. The right-winger sent bombs to CNN and to Democrats."

"I don’t see Democrats killing people because of political, yeah ---- maybe Democratic operatives who are out there.”

"But they tried to," Shields corrected.

“Okay, they tried to, and that’s not right,” Lemon replied. “But for the most part, what do you see here, Mike? You see these extreme right-wingers and then instead of denouncing them and saying it’s just wrong, you make people think that it’s okay, that you’re making an excuse for, because then you go, ‘But what about the Democrats?’ when is no comparison. There is no equivalence there!”

Shields insisted he was not excusing anything and was only attempting to make a point around rhetoric from both sides contributing to the rising political temperature in the country.

Scalise retweeted an article summarizing Lemon's comments with wide googly eyes Tuesday.

Shields and Lemon's debate came before outgoing U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyPentagon sends B-52 bombers to Europe for exercises amid tensions with Russia Overnight Health Care: Trump officials sued over Medicaid work requirements in New Hampshire | Analysis contradicts HHS claims on Arkansas Medicaid changes | Azar signals HHS won't back down on e-cigs 40 years of Iranian threats against Israel and few pay any attention MORE took to Twitter to call out those pointing the finger at President 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's rhetoric for the synagogue shooting, noting that former President Obama was not blamed after a mass shooting at an African-American church in Charleston, S.C., during his time in office.

“I have struggled w/ what happened in Pitts bc it’s so similar to what happened in Chas. The country was very racially divided @ the time," Haley, a former South Carolina governor, tweeted late Monday. "We didn’t once blame Pres. Obama. We focused solely on the lives lost & their families. Have some respect for these families & stop the blame,” added Haley, who will step down at the end of the year.