“I want you to listen to this closely because this has been bugging me for the last few days,” Don Lemon said towards the top of his primetime CNN show Monday night. “I just want to scream at the television when I see it.”
The host went on to explain that President Donald Trump “and his apologists” are “working very hard” to claim that Michael Cohen’s campaign finance felonies—allegedly at the direction of Trump—were “just like what Obama did during his campaign.”
Lemon was referring to civil reporting violations made by the Obama campaign in 2008 and uncovered by a 2012 audit by the Federal Election Commission, leading to the payment of a $375,000 fine.
Trump’s now infamous “smocking gun” tweet featured the conclusion, “So now the Dems go to a simple private transaction, wrongly call it a campaign contribution… which it was not (but even if it was, it is only a CIVIL CASE, like Obama’s - but it was done correctly by a lawyer and there would not even be a fine. Lawyer’s liability if he made a mistake, not me).”
“That is a flat-out lie,” Lemon said Monday night. Acknowledging that the Obama campaign “did miss filing deadlines” and pay the fine, he added, “That is not the same, at all, as creating a shell company or using a media company to pay hush money for affairs with a porn star and Playboy model during an election so that the voting public would not find out.”
“It is not the same at all, c’mon,” he continued. “Don’t be stupid. Don’t think that people are stupid by pretending that this is equal and the same thing. It is not.”