A professional Donald Trump supporter got into a heated debate with former White House adviser Van Jones on Tuesday, after trying to deflect criticism over the GOP front-runner’s recent endorsement from the KKK.
Jeffrey Lord, a paid talking head who has spent a good chunk of the last year boosting Trump on CNN, kicked off the tense exchange by playing coy when the panel accused Trump of exploiting racial tensions in the U.S. He then defended Trump’s eventual disavowal of former KKK grand wizard David Duke — after Trump initially declined to do so, claiming he was unfamiliar with the KKK.
Jones, also a paid talking head for CNN, wasn’t buying it.
“[Trump] is whipping up and tapping into and pushing buttons that are very, very frightening to me and frightening to a lot of people,” he said. “I know this man when he gets passionate about terrorism. I know how he talks about terrorism. The Klan is a terrorist organization.”
Lord attempted a diversion.
“A leftist terrorist organization,” he responded, echoing revisionist history. Conflating the old, racist Democratic Party of the South with the liberal wing that overtook the party during the second half of the 20th century, Lord argued that the Klan sought to “further the progressive agenda.”
According to Lord, Democrats are now the ones “dividing people by race,” because that’s “what liberalism is all about.”
Given that the Democratic and Republican parties underwent a major realignment over the past half-century, Jones said the KKK’s old associations with the Democratic Party aren’t relevant. “I don’t care how they voted 50 years ago,” he said. “I care about who they killed.”
Jones then very politely asked Lord to pull his head out of his ass.
“Tell Donald Trump he needs for my children’s sake, for the children’s sake of America, if he’s going to lead this country, he needs to be as passionate about what has happened to the people in my community as anybody else’s,” he said.
Watch the entire segment above.
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