CNN’s “State of the Union” panel got heated on Sunday after Rep. Nanette Barragán (D-Calif.) appeared to try to link President Donald Trump to Virginia’s current political mess, and CNN commentator Nina Turner didn’t let it slide.
Addressing the recent scandals surrounding Virginia Democratic Governor Ralph Northam, his Lt. Governor Justin Fairfax (D-Va.) and the state’s attorney general Mark Herring (D-Va.), two of which include the use of blackface, Barragan attempted to place blame on the president, saying he’s “been one of the most divisive presidents” and is “racist himself.”
“We can’t forget about the person who is dividing us,” she continued. “And who himself is injecting this into the country.”
That’s when Turner lost her patience, saying she “cannot.”
“I just can’t,” she said before letting loose on the congresswomen. “This is not about President Donald Trump! This is about racism in the United States of America. Congresswoman, I hear you, but on this, we’re not blaming President Trump.”
When Barragan tried to counter that President Trump has “divided this country,” Turner was quick to shoot back, “No, I am not going to continue to let politicians use this man as the excuse to deal with racism in this country. It’s been going on for far too long in the United States of America.”
Watch the heated exchange below:
"I am not going to continue to let politicians use [Donald Trump] as the excuse to deal with racism in this country," says @ninaturner, adding "we've got to stop making this about who's a Republican, who's a Democrat. I want to know who's a humanitarian." https://t.co/P6qNki0Uqq pic.twitter.com/GwxaUMbNK4
— CNN (@CNN) February 10, 2019
Although Turner went on to say that “President Donald Trump is a racist” and that “there’s no doubt about it,” she also admitted that “Democrats delve in racism as well.”
“We’ve got to stop making about who’s a Republican, who’s a Democrat. I want to know who is a humanitarian,” she said. “These three men, they have nothing to do with President Trump. This is about racism in the DNA of this country.”
The tense conversation comes amid ongoing controversy in Virginia after Governor Northam’s medical school yearbook photo resurfaced featuring one man sporting blackface and another wearing Ku Klux Klan robes.
Soon after, the state’s Lt. Governor was accused by two women of sexual assault, and Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring admitted to once using blackface himself. The state has been engulfed in political chaos ever since, with Northam refusing to resign amid calls from both sides of the aisle for him to do so.