Derek Lawrence
January 11, 2018 at 11:29 PM EST

Don Lemon says Donald Trump’s reported comments about “sh—hole countries” didn’t leave him outraged because he “already knew” the president was “racist.”

Opening Thursday’s CNN Tonight, Lemon declared, “The president of the United States is racist. A lot of us already knew that.”

According to The Washington Post, during a meeting with lawmakers to discuss protecting immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador, and several African countries, Trump remarked, “Why are we having all these people from sh–hole countries come here?”

“I have to admit, I was not shocked that Donald Trump reportedly called the majority of black and Hispanic countries or continents ‘sh—holes,'” continued Lemon. “I wasn’t shocked. I’m really not outraged by it. I’m tired of being outraged, as a matter of fact. I’ve been outraged too many times. It’s more important to be strategic than to be outraged… Otherwise, it becomes a sky-is-falling situation every time he says something dumb or stupid or racist.”

Lemon also urged those who continue to support Trump to do “some self-examination.” “What does it say about you that no matter what, no matter what, you continue to make excuses for this man, for his vile behavior?” he asked. “Doesn’t that make you just as bad, if not worse than him?”

Lemon’s condemnation of the president and his supporters weren’t the only instances of pointed words being used on the program Thursday night. One of Lemon’s guests via remote, Republican strategist and frequent Trump critic Rick Wilson, clashed with fellow guest John Fredericks, a conservative talk show host and fervent Trump supporter, over Trump’s “sh–hole” remark. At one point Wilson said, “John, I will gut you like a fish on this show if you want to keep this up.”

See video of the exchange over at Mediaite.

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