CNN's Don Lemon: GOP Emboldened Steve King To Use White Nationalist Rhetoric

"It’s straight-up hateful. It’s a bullhorn."

CNN’s Don Lemon listed on Friday just some of the hateful white nationalist rhetoric spouted by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) in recent years.

But not before the “CNN Tonight” host rhetorically asked: “Why do Republicans tolerate it?”

Lemon answered his own question as follows:

“The GOP is where it is today because the party chose to go down this road, playing to racists and xenophobes, demonizing immigrants, allowing a manufactured crisis at the border to shut down our government. When you do that, what you get is someone like Congressman King, someone who feels emboldened to use language that’s not a dog whistle. It’s straight-up hateful. It’s a bullhorn.”

Check out the full clip here:

King was widely criticized Thursday following his interview with The New York Times in which he asked how the terms “white nationalist,” “white supremacist” and “Western civilization” had become “so offensive.”

He later rejected the “white nationalist” and “white supremacist” labels in this statement shared to Twitter: