Don Lemon: “Donald Trump is pretending in this moment to be a president”

Lemon: “He is performing to this country what he thinks a leader should be like”

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Citation From the June 1, 2020, edition of CNN's Erin Burnett OutFront

ERIN BURNETT (HOST): You know, Don, to the point that the governor was making, the president wanted this photo-op and he wanted to disperse that crowd because he is -- you know, he wants an image of this, all of these protests being one thing, which is violent, which of course is not accurate.

DON LEMON: Yes, and listen, we work in television. We know when someone is producing a moment, and we know this president -- this president comes from a reality-show background.

And the fact that he says he is going to protect protesters, peaceful protesters and then sends in military or police officers to push them away when they're being peaceful is just -- it's just really outrageous. 

And, Erin, we're New Yorkers. Donald Trump standing in front of a church with a Bible, really? Let's just be honest here. When was the last time Donald Trump saw a church? Even before he was president of the United States? When was the last time he cracked open a Bible? I'm just saying this is all for show. Donald Trump is pretending in this moment to be a president. 

Let's just all be real about this. He's pretending to be a president. He is mimicking his -- the person that he adores, his hero George Patton, and he wants to return to some sort of 1950s sort-of dominance for America.

That's what he's doing. This is all acting, it's all a show, and he is performing to this country what he thinks a leader should be like and what he thinks a president of the United States should be like. But guess what? This is a very, very dangerous game. He is possibly igniting tensions -- not possibly. He's igniting tensions, I know, more. I hope this doesn't turn out to backfire on him because if it does, it's not going to play out well for many people in the United States beyond the president of the United States.