By Sam Dorman
Published January 28, 2020
Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter and senior White House adviser, had some uncharacteristically strong criticism on Tuesday after a CNN panel slid into suggesting President Trump's supporters were dumb.
"You consistently make fun of half the country and then complain that it is divided," the first daughter said. "The arrogance, mocking accents and smug ridicule of this nation’s ‘Real Elites’ is disgusting," she said.
She linked to a clip of anti-Trump Republican strategist Rick Wilson, who famously made a crude remark about conservative author Ann Coulter's relationship with President Trump. During a panel on Monday night, Wilson joked that Trump couldn't "find Ukraine on a map if you had the letter U and a picture of an actual, physical crane next to it," Wilson said.
That prompted CNN anchor Don Lemon to keel over in laughter. Wilson added that Trump's support came from "the credulous boomer rube demo." In a mocking Southern accent, he added that those people want to think that "Donald Trump's the smart one and y'all elitists are dumb."
Lemon kept laughing hysterically before another guest, columnist Wajahat Ali, continued mocking Trump supporters. "You elitists with your geography and your maps and your spelling," Ali said with a similarly derogatory imitation.
"Your math, your reading ... all those lines on the map," Wilson added in a mocking accent. "Only them elitists know where Ukraine is," Ali said before apologizing and blaming Wilson for the stunt. Throughout all their exchange, Lemon was laughing so much that he had to tell his panelists to "hold on" before they continued talking.
"Rick, that was a good one. I needed that," Lemon told Wilson. CNN did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.
The president himself responded early Tuesday morning, blasting Lemon as "the dumbest man on television." Both Ali and Wilson seemed unrepentant on social media. By Tuesday afternoon, Lemon had not tweeted about the exchange.
Ivanka Trump has tended to stay away from controversy, even refusing to fire back at comedian Samantha Bee when she hurled a crude expletive at her.
During her father's administration, she's focused on helping return manufacturing jobs to the United States. She told Fox News' Steve Hilton that the administration was working to craft agreements that would make occupational licensing simpler, an issue that particularly affects military families who frequently move.