CNN’s Don Lemon questioned his own network’s choice to air a speech President Donald Trump delivered at his campaign’s Virginia headquarters on Tuesday while voters were still casting their ballots, calling the president’s remarks “propaganda.”
“There’s so much to talk about. I almost feel like, I’m not sure if we should be running this propaganda video as people are still going to the polls to vote today, because not much of what he said, if anything, was true,” Lemon said, after fact-checking multiple components of Trump’s remarks.
Lemon and Erin Burnett, who were co-anchoring CNN’s afternoon election programming, both commented that the tone of the president’s remarks ― which included him saying “losing is never easy” ― was notable.
Despite seeming to lack his usual bravado to some extent, in his brief speech to reporters and campaign staff in Arlington just before 3 p.m., Trump railed against the Supreme Court ruling that allowed Pennsylvania to extend its vote-counting deadlines. He complained that the results should be known on election night and claimed “a lot of bad things happen” with ballots when votes are counted in the subsequent days.
“There were states in 2016 that the president did not know that he won until the votes were counted after Election Day,” Lemon pointed out. “There’s nothing unusual about the votes being counted after Election Day.”
Media coverage has been the subject of debate in the lead-up to the election, after reports indicated that Trump planned to make a premature and illegitimate declaration of victory on Tuesday night, even though large numbers of mail-in ballots will not yet be counted. Newsrooms have faced pressure not to carry such an event over concerns that it would undermine the Democratic process.