CNN anchor Chris Cuomo blasted President Trump over his "pathetic" retweet of a photoshopped image depicting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in traditional Muslim attire with a backdrop of the Iranian flag.
"This wasn't just anti-Muslim, it was anti-American again," Cuomo said, before handing over CNN's programming to his primetime colleague Don Lemon.
"It really is sad, don't you think? Lemon later asked.
"Yeah, I think it's pathetic," Cuomo replied. "He has to be this way, Don. He will not win if he is not this way. He has nothing else to offer. He doesn't have anything that captures the imagination of a hopeful America. He's not a bridge builder."
"What do you mean?" Lemon interrupted. "He has no couth? He has no dignity?"
"No, I don't have to insult him," Cuomo continued. "It's just what he is. He has to have people upset. He has to be an agent for their animous or he can't win."
Lemon insisted he wasn't trying to "insult" the president and that he was simply telling the "truth," quickly suggesting that Trump "doesn't have class."
"Either way, what I'm saying is this is what works for him," Cuomo elaborated. "Saying, 'You know what, Don Lemon? I appreciate what you're saying and I don't disagree with you, but you have every right to say it and I wish you well.' Nope, doesn't work. Why? It keeps people, 'I'm not sure, I'm not sure which way I want to go.' If I say, 'Don Lemon, you said to me, you are the worst. And people like you, Don Lemon, you are the enemy.' Now, what am I playing to? Am I playing to race? Am I playing to identity? Am I playing to media? Am I playing institutions? He doesn't know. He just knows it's good for him, Don. The more angry for the most reasons- best for him."
The "Cuomo Prime Time" host added that he made a "bet" to Trump that the president "can't go a week without lying about a material fact, denying something that you are responsible for, or defying a norm to keep people apart."
Fox News' Ronn Blitzer contributed to this report.