CNN anchor Don Lemon, never one to back down from controversy or a good confrontation, was in top form Friday as he mixed it up with former The Apprentice star Omarosa Manigault over Donald Trump—or, more precisely, the fact that Omarosa chose not to directly answer a question about Trump’s tweet about Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz’s wife.
The issue arose right from the beginning of a segment on his CNN Tonight With Don Lemon, which also featured Kellyanne Conway, who runs a pro-Cruz super PAC. Lemon went to Omarosa first and asked about Trump’s retweet this week, which showed an unflattering photo of Cruz’s wife next to a much better photo of Trump’s wife, a model.
Lemon asked Omarosa to comment “on the retweet of the Heidi Cruz and Melania Trump pictures,” and she immediately said, “I don’t think we should start there.” She apparently meant that they should start earlier in that particular controversy, which in her mind would have meant bringing up the fact that a Cruz super PAC ran an ad featuring Trump’s wife nude.
But Lemon was starting where he wanted to and barked, “I’m not going to let you do that, Omarosa. Stop!” He then asked production to cut the mic, and as Omarosa continued to speak, he said, “I want everyone on this panel to answer the question directly.” Conway tried to get a word in edgewise, but to no avail. Omarosa demurred, and Lemon, visibly annoyed, said, “We’ll be right back,” and cut to a commercial about 60 seconds into the segment.
Of course, when the show returned from commercial, Lemon continued the same line of questioning about the retweet, and Omarosa tried to pivot by saying that we should be talking about terrorism and not Twitter (or somesuch), but finally said that Trump owes no one any apologies for “defending his wife”—a draw in our eyes.
Watch this clash of the titans below (before commercial):