CNN anchor Don Lemon said Wednesday that people upset with his claim that the biggest threat in America is far-right radicalized white men are "missing the point."
“I made some comments about that in a conversation with Chris. I said that the biggest terror threat in this country comes from radicals on the far right, primarily white men. That angered some people," Lemon said on his evening show "CNN Tonight."
He then said, "Let’s put emotion aside and look at the cold hard facts," before citing reports that show a spike in domestic terrorism in recent years of attacks by right-wing extremists.
"Those are the facts. So people who were angered about what I said are missing the entire point," he said, adding that "the facts prove" that foreign threats of terror are far less present than those within the U.S.
CNN's Don Lemon doubles down on his attack from last night on "white men" where he said that "we have to start doing something about them."— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) November 1, 2018
He did not apologize for his inflammatory rhetoric which comes after he had slammed the rhetoric of right-leaning publications. pic.twitter.com/6TNrozMLDd
Lemon made the controversial comment about radicalized white men during the hand-off to his evening show earlier in the week, discussing the impending arrival of thousands of migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. "We have to stop demonizing people and realize the biggest terror threat in this country is white men, most of them radicalized to the Right, and we have to start doing something about them,” Lemon said. “There is no travel ban on them … there is no white guy ban.”
In the aftermath, Lemon faced a whirlwind of backlash, particularly from right-leaning figures, and when CNN refused to comment on the matter until Lemon's show Wednesday evening, Donald Trump Jr., President Trump's oldest son, said, "Why is that? Would they let it slide if someone else made a racist statement like Don Lemon did? Give me a break, no wonder they have fewer viewers than Nick at Night."
The New York Times, in a report about how law enforcement failed to stop the rise of far-right extremism for decades, said white supremacists and far-right extremists have killed more people since the Sept. 11 attacks than any other type of domestic extremism.