CNN anchor Don Lemon declared that "the biggest terror threat in this country is white men," adding that "there is no travel ban on them" in an exchange that has prompted rebuke from conservatives on social media.
"I keep trying to point out to people and not to demonize any one group or any one ethnicity," Lemon said to fellow CNN anchor Chris Cuomo during a handoff of their respective programs late Monday. "But we keep thinking that the biggest terror threat is something else, someone people who are marching, you know, towards the border, like it's imminent."
"And the last time they did this, a couple hundred people came and they — you know, most of them did get into the country, most of them tired — you know, got tuckered out before they made it to the border," he continued.
"So, we have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them," Lemon concluded. "There is no travel ban on them. There is no ban on — you know, they had the Muslim ban. There is no white guy ban."
Lemon was referring to a ban preventing travel to the U.S. by nationals from five Muslim-majority countries introduced by the Trump administration in early 2017. The Supreme Court upheld the ban in June on a 5-4 vote.
His commentary went largely unnoticed until Tuesday before Grabien founder Tom Elliott flagged it.
CNN's Don Lemon: We have to "realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the right, and we have to start doing something about them." pic.twitter.com/CqefzgIntd— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) October 30, 2018
Conservatives slammed Lemon over the comment on social media.
We have to stop demonizing people based on race or ethnicity and also white men are terrorists. This is CNN. https://t.co/fFhWm6jr5q— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) October 31, 2018
Don Lemon: “I keep trying to point out to people not to demonize any one group or any one ethnicity.”— CRTV (@CRTV) October 31, 2018
Don Lemon literally seconds later: ": "We have to... realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men."pic.twitter.com/M8ffxbiUjO
Take out the words "WHITE MEN" and REPLACE them with "BLACK MEN" and see how fast the HOST who says this GETS FIRED...— Chuck Callesto (@ChuckCallesto) October 30, 2018
Race BAITING at it's FINEST... DEMS feed on DIVISION...
Don Lemon: “The Biggest Terror Threat In This Country Is WHITE MEN” [VIDEO]..https://t.co/k3ZM6ioJhb
CNN's @donlemon: "The biggest terror threat in this country is white men."— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) October 30, 2018
Is that unadulterated racism or bigotry?
Should he apologize?— Ryan Fournier (@RyanAFournier) October 31, 2018
What Don Lemon Just Said About White Men Will Go Down As Day CNN Lost Middle America Forever (Video) https://t.co/n48nk9qXh1
Lemon, 52, has anchored "CNN Tonight" since it was re-launched on the network in 2014.
Updated at 9:57 a.m.