CNN host Don Lemon said anyone with “half a brain” knows that California Congresswoman Maxine Waters was not calling for violence in her remarks at a rally in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.
In an interview over the weekend, Waters was asked what people should do if there isn’t a guilty verdict in the trial of Minnesota vs. Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis Police officer on trial for the second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter of George Floyd last May.
“We’ve got to stay on the street,” Waters said, “and we’ve got to get more active. We’ve got to get more confrontational. We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business.”
Her remarks prompted Republicans to call her remarks divisive. Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor-Greene vowed on Twitter to introduce a resolution to eject Waters from her seat in the House of Representatives.
Speaking to Wolf Blitzer, Lemon called Waters a “sharp-tongued, rabble-rousing lawmaker” who “makes a lot of people uncomfortable.” However, he also made clear he didn’t think she was advocating for violent behavior from angry Americans.
“Maxine Waters is not calling for violence. Everyone knows that,” Lemon said. “She makes a lot of people uncomfortable, especially a lot of men, and, quite frankly, especially a lot of white men, because she puts them in their place.”
“But was Maxine Waters really calling for people to loot and riot?” he wondered. “I think most people with half a brain know that’s not what she was doing.”
Lemon also said he didn’t think Waters’ remarks were “constructive.”
“Do I think that she should have said it? Absolutely not,” he maintained. “Do I think that she gave her enemies ammunition? I certainly do. She handed it to them.”
Lemon also pointed out that most of Waters’ critics are “the insurrectionists — people who supported the insurrection on Capitol Hill — or the people who support the lie about the election, or the people in many ways who are supporting state violence against Black people.”