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CNN’s Don Lemon has been embroiled in controversy in recent weeks, so perhaps they are trying to make his job even easier moving forward.
The program “CNN This Morning” ran an entire segment on Thursday on a supposed debate about President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden ordering the same pasta dish at a restaurant.
Below is a transcript of the bizarre exchange that never seemed to end:
DON LEMON: It’s really important. But now for the really important stuff. Getting an inside look at the first couple’s most recent date night, which has a lot of people talking. Why? Well President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden hit the town last weekend at a well-known D.C. restaurant, The Red Hen. They shared some wine, some bread and a salad. Pretty standard date procedure, right? Well, this is where things get a little more interesting because, maybe even controversial? Because according to The Washington Post, for the entree portion, the president ordered the rigatoni with fennel sausage ragu, and the first lady ordered the same thing! The mezzi rigatoni, the sausage ragu, rigatoni for the POTUS rigatoni for the FLOTUS. There’s a song in there, I like that. I have heard from a very reliable source, a certain CNN This Morning co-anchor here who knows the D.C. scene very well. Says the pasta they ordered, possibly the best thing on the menu. But you’ve got to ask, why not share? Or try two different pastas? Okay, so all of that in jest. But we know, we’re talking about this. Honestly. We were like, why is this a story? Well, I’ll tell you, Tim and I order the same thing all the time. I mean…
POPPY HARLOW: Yes, we do all the time too. What’s the scoop?
ARLETTE SAENZ: I mean, when I went to the Red Hen, I ordered the rigatoni. That’s, like my favorite dish. And if you think about the Bidens, they love pasta. They love red sauce pasta. And so it’s not entirely surprising, I think, that, you know, they’ve been married for so long that they’re fine doing things their own way. And if they both want to get the same dish, they’re both going to get the same dish.
KAITLAN COLLINS: People say you’re supposed to order something different.
DON LEMON: Why didn’t you bring us the pasta?
POPPY HARLOW: Yes, I agree with Kaitlan that you should order something different and then reach over the table.
KAITLAN COLLINS: Yeah, I do think typically that’s the debate is that people that you’re supposed to order something different, be adventurous.
Verified sources (@kaitlancollins) say it's the best thing on the menu. But would you ever order the same thing as the person you went to dinner with?@POTUS and @FLOTUS did: pic.twitter.com/eLl6O0KJNI
— CNN This Morning (@CNNThisMorning) March 2, 2023
Lemon has apparently survived calls to have him fired after he made some sexist remarks about GOP presidential contender Nikki Haley last week.
Network officials say he will eventually return to the airwaves to join fellow co-hosts Poppy Harlow and Kaitlin Collins after he undergoes “formal training” for sexism, The First TV reported.
“I sat down with Don and had a frank and meaningful conversation. He has agreed to participate in formal training, as well as continue to listen and learn. We take this situation very seriously. It is important to me that CNN balances accountability with fostering a culture in which people can own, learn and grow from their mistakes. To that end, Don will return to CNN This Morning on Wednesday,” CNN CEO Chris Licht told staff on Tuesday, the streaming network said.
Lemon criticized Haley for endorsing “mandatory mental competency tests” for politicians who are 75 years or older, suggesting that Haley was no longer in her “prime.”
Lemon referenced “Google” to support his contention that Haley, who is 51 years old, will face a difficult challenge in winning the presidency, as women are only considered to be in their prime during their “20s, 30s, and 40s.”
“I’m just saying what the facts are. Google it. Everybody at home, when is a woman in her prime, it says 20s, 30s, and 40s,” he said to morning ho co-hosts Poppy Harlow and Kaitlin Collins. “And I’m just saying Nikki Haley should be careful about saying that politicians are not in their prime, and they need to be in their prime when they serve. Because she wouldn’t be in her prime according to Google or whatever it is.”
The report said that Harlow left the set “furious” for a bathroom break and was followed by Collins.
This follows reports earlier this month that Lemon rattled Collins as well as the crew following an off-camera confrontation with her. Reports said he “screamed” at her for allegedly interrupting him on the air.
To that point, Outkick added: “It’s unclear if his training course” regarding sexism “will address his berating of co-host Kaitlan Collins earlier this year.” That appears to be a reference to reports earlier this month that Lemon rattled Collins as well as the crew following an off-camera confrontation with her.
According to a recent report from the New York Post, several sources said that Lemon “screamed” at Collins following an on-air incident on the set, with tensions continuing to rise as the show tanks and as Lemon, apparently, is unhappy sharing on-air duties with Collins and Harlow.