Image Credit: Screenshot, Mediaite/CNN

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CNN Segment Goes Off the Rails About Trump and Charges of Racism

Writer Charles Blow of The New York Times accused conservative commentator Steve Cortes — who is Hispanic — of being complicit

Conservative political commentator Steve Cortes (shown above right) and New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow (above left) clashed in a tense exchange on Monday night on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” as Blow accused Cortes — who is Hispanic — of being a racist because he supports President Donald Trump.

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper (above center) began the segment by discussing the claim of Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) that Trump is “the grand wizard of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.”

Jeffries, the House Democratic Caucus chairman, compared the president to a leader of the Ku Klux Klan on Martin Luther King Day.

Cooper began by asking Blow if it was “appropriate for a sitting member of Congress to refer to the president as the grand wizard of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?”

Blow backed Jeffries’ words, saying that he himself was “vexed by the whole idea that we keep coming back to this question about whether or not the man is a racist, when it is clear that his pattern of behavior over his entire life suggests that he is.”

“And the fact that we keep discussing this as if it is an arguable point does damage to the truth,” Blow added, insisting Trump is undoubtedly “a racist.”

Cooper then asked Cortes for his opinion. Cortes, who had been part of Trump’s Hispanic Advisory Council, rejected the notion.

“When people like Charles Blow and when people like Congressman Jeffries slander the president and continue to call him racist, here’s what they’re trying to do. They’re trying to marginalize him and our entire movement,” Cortes said. “They’re trying to say, ‘You have no standing in polite society.'”

“Why? ‘Because you’re disrupting the system that we have built, which is built on identity politics, which serves the interests, yes, of a lot of politicians who happen to be of color but not communities of color,'” Cortes continued, pointing to the Trump administration’s policies that empowered the Hispanic and African-American communities.

The segment quickly derailed when Blow reacted to Cortes’ defense of Trump — and accused Cortes of “lying as you normally do” by saying Blow had slandered Trump by calling him a racist.

“Calling him racist is a slander,” Cortes shot back.

After some heated cross-talk, Blow said he believes that “people who pretend not to see racism or defend racism, as Steve just did, are a part of that racism — which I believe Steve is a part of that racism.”

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“OK. So, I can’t call you a slanderer for calling the president a racist, but then you can ultimately call me a racist without any evidence, without any justification?” an incredulous Cortes replied.

Blow replied, “The parameter that people who pretend not to see it and people who defend it are a part of it. You’re just pretending not to see it and knowingly defended it — that means that you are part of it.”

Cooper tried unsuccessfully several times to control the conversation as Blow and Cortes continued to argue.

“That’s fine, Steve. You can be a part of it,” Blow said. “I’m not knocking you for supporting his racism … I have eyes and I have ears and I can see you doing it and you can see yourself doing it and you just need to own it.”

Cortes fired back, “You know what’s truly racist is to say that we’re going to consign … entire American communities to low expectations and quite frankly to low output when it comes to education, when it comes to the economy.”

“I have eyes and I have ears and I can see you doing it and you can see yourself doing it and you just need to own it.”

Cortes added, “What this president has done, he says, ‘No, we’re going to have the highest expectation for all Americans of all colors. And our policies are going to pursue prosperity and security for black and brown people.'”

Check out more of the fiery segment below: