While guesting on the season finale of Real Time with Bill Maher on Friday, John Legend got into a heated discussion with CNN political commentator David Axelrod, shutting down Axelrod’s claim that President-elect Donald Trump isn’t racist.
Axelrod agreed that Trump’s inflammatory remarks throughout the presidential campaign were “outrageous” and “offensive,” but he argued, “The thing that I find offensive is I don’t think Donald Trump is a racist.” Legend was quick on the defense, saying, “I don’t care if he is… it’s irrelevant. What he’s saying is causing racial violence.”
Axelrod further explained, “I think he is an opportunist who exploited race and served racism, and that to me is more offensive… He knew better and he knew what he was doing.”
“I don’t care if he knows better,” Legend responded. “I care what he’s saying and what it’s going to cause in the public.” After political correspondent Ana Marie Cox echoed the singer’s stance, he added, “These are people we deal with every day. This is not academic. This is not just a conversation about politeness and political correctness. This is about peoples’ lives and about them being in danger because we have a racist running the country.”
Watch the clip below.
Legend released a powerful and emotional music video for “Love Me Now” on Friday featuring footage of immigrant families, minorities, same-sex couples, and his own family. The lyrics emphasized a message of hope in uncertain times: “I don’t know who’s gonna kiss you when I’m gone, so I’m gonna love you now like it’s all I have.”
Real Time With Bill Maher returns to HBO in January 2017.