Defending Donald Trump against criticism for his attack on civil rights icon John Lewis for questioning the legitimacy of the president-elect, Republican Ben Ferguson suggested on CNN that the fallout would have been far bigger had the same been said of President Obama.
Except, there's the small matter of Trump fanning the birther movement to question the legitimacy of Obama's presidency for years.
Lewis, a longtime congressman from Georgia and a civil rights leader, told NBC he did not plan to attend Trump's inauguration because he believed he was not a legitimate president due to Russian intervention in the election.
Ferguson criticized Lewis' comments on CNN Saturday, calling the congressman's comments "unprecedented," then began to try to make a point about what the reaction would be if the shoe were on the other foot regarding Obama.
"I cannot imagine the fallout, the backfire you would have if a Republican would ever imply that Barack Obama, or Bill Clinton, or JFK or anyone else for that matter..."
Prompting CNN's Poppy Harlow to jump in...
Ben! Ben! Ben! Ben!
Trump for years was among the most prominent people questioning not only Obama's presidency, but his citizenship, suggesting he wasn't born in the US. He also alleged the president's birth certificate was fake, and took credit for allegedly forcing Obama to release a copy of the original.
In fact, it wasn't until last year that the president-elect publicly acknowledged he believed Obama was born in the US.
Still, the history of his birtherism lives on in his Twitter timeline.
So, perhaps understandably, the reaction to Ferguson's point was met with a little "O rly"
"That's exactly what many Republicans did, including the president-elect for years, questioning the legitimacy of the first black president," Harlow told Ferguson. "Which, by the way, many saw as racist."
On Twitter, people were having none of Ferguson's logic.
Some said Republicans have "short memories."
So others helpfully chimed in with a recap of the last eight years...
"Welcome to our post-fact world."
Salvador Hernandez is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
Contact Salvador Hernandez at email@example.com.
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