Don Lemon has clarified his remarks after President Trump hopped on Twitter and slammed him as "the dumbest man on television."
Trump was incensed after Lemon and two guests weighed in on Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and NPR host Mary Louise Kelly's Ukraine discussion. Trump took exception to Lemon's view that Pompeo's suggestion that Kelly couldn't find the country on a map a "petty attempt to put her down."
Author Rick Wilson agreed with Lemon: "He also knows, deep in his heart, that Donald Trump couldn't find Ukraine on a map if you had the letter' U' and a picture of an actual, physical crane," he said. "He knows that this is an administration defined by ignorance of the world. So that's partly him playing to their base and playing to their audience: the credulous boomer rube demo."
Wilson and fellow guest Wajahat Ali, a New York Times and CNN contributor, both then spoke in Southern accents, seeming mocking Trump supporters - "you elitists with your geography and your maps and your spelling," Ali joked.
"Your math and your readin'," Wilson added.
While it was not Lemon who made the sensitive comments, he laughed along with the guests - and Trump was not happy.
Trump responded Tuesday to the clip, calling Lemon "the dumbest man on television (with terrible ratings!)."
Lemon addressed the president's clap back during Tuesday's episode of CNN Tonight With Don Lemon:
"During an interview on Saturday night, one of my guests said something that made me laugh," he said. "And while in the moment I found that joke humorous, I didn't catch everything that was said. Just to make this perfectly clear, I was laughing at the joke and not at any group of people," adding that he does not "believe in belittling people, belittling anyone … for who they are, what they believe or where they're from" despite political differences.
"It's personally important for me to address this," Lemon said.