During Monday night's handoff, Lemon's primetime colleague Chris Cuomo began by comparing the warm reception Obama received in Toronto, where he got a standing ovation at an NBA Finals game. He compared that to protests that have taken place during Trump's visit to the United Kingdom.
Lemon showered Obama with praise, saying he "looks good" and explaining that the difference between both receptions is that "people love Obama" and that he's "loved all over the world" and that people in the UK "don't like Trump."
"People love Obama, that's all I can say. And why not?" Lemon elaborated. "He's a decent person... even if you disagree with his politics, he's a decent, kind man who was very classy all the time. He didn't call people 'dumb.' He didn't call people 'nasty.' He didn't call people 'total losers.' He wasn't a fifth grader, he was an adult."
"You know who didn't like him though, you know who doesn't share your opinion... the Trump base," Cuomo said.
"I think Trump's base will tell you, 'I didn't like his policies, but he was a kind, decent man,'" Lemon told Cuomo.
"Some might," Cuomo replied. "I think without President Bush, you'd never get Obama. Without Obama, you'd never get Trump."
"If they're saying that, they're delusional," Lemon shot back. "Where's the evidence that Obama ever denigrated anyone?"
"They thought he was divisive, they thought he was playing to race, they thought he was trying to marginalize being white in this country that he didn't think America was special," Cuomo argued.
"Because he was black," Lemon replied. "Because someone kept asking for a damn birth certificate because the hate groups got upset because a black man was president. You didn't get Trump unless you got Obama, unless you have people who were pissed that a black man was president, even if they are conscientiously aware of it or not."
"People used to lambast me for criticizing the former president. You don't hear about that anymore," Lemon later added. "And all you hear from Trump people is 'you love Obama.'"