CNN anchor Don Lemon appeared to be backtracking remarks he made about "blowing up the entire system," insisting his critics had taken him out of context.
On Monday night, during his nightly handoff with primetime colleague Chris Cuomo, Lemon floated a solution for the masses who are disenfranchised by both parties.
"We're going to have to blow up the entire system," Lemon said.
"I don't know about that," Cuomo reacted, who argued that Americans just have to vote.
"You know what we're going to have to do?… You're going to have to get rid of the electoral college," Lemon continued. "Because the minority in this country get to decide who our judges are and who our president is. Is that fair?"
"You need a constitutional amendment to do that," Cuomo replied.
"And if Joe Biden wins, Democrats can stack the courts and they can do that amendment and get it passed," Lemon shot back.
On Tuesday night, however, Lemon sang a different tune, suggesting his previous remarks were made in jest.
"I woke up and I saw all of these headlines, 'Don Lemon is calling for the abolishing of the electoral college!' But I was responding to you when you said we need people with integrity!" Lemon exclaimed as he attempted to explain his remarks to Cuomo. "I was responding to you when you said we want people with integrity in office and I said, 'Well, then we've got to blow up the whole system, right?' And I said here's what Democrats can do and that's the danger- they can' stack the court. But all of a sudden, I am calling for the abolishing of the electoral college… and that I'm a Democrat because I said 'we.' I mean the American people!"
"But listen, you forgot something very fundamental… A Black guy can't say that he wants to blow anything up right now," Cuomo joked. "People are waiting for you to come and destroy their houses with people like me, your kooky White friends. So you can't say you want to blow stuff up because you're playing into the narrative."
"What is wrong with you?!" Lemon chucked.
Lemon later told Cuomo he felt the need to respond to the uproar because "the context was so egregious" and how critics took a snippet out of context from "the entire conversation," though he did double down on his suggestion to get rid of the electoral college.
"Run and tell this: I do think that we need to look at the electoral college because I think it disenfranchises voters, both Democrats and Republicans," Lemon said. "If you're in a blue state and all of the electoral votes go to the Democratic person, then the Republicans' votes aren't counted, the people who voted for the Republican candidate! So I do think it should be looked at because I think it does disenfranchise certain people. Should it be abolished? It's not for me to say. I'm saying this is what Democrats are saying; stack, the courts, get rid of the electoral college. But there is no nuance and no context anymore so who cares."