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Charles Barkley takes a bat to Donald Trump, his supporters and CNN

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TNT’s “Inside the NBA” halftime show took a few steps away from “the NBA” portion of its title during Thursday night’s Knicks-Kings game to talk politics, because that’s probably what viewers of pro-sports halftime shows want. Maybe? I don’t know, seems like a reach. Anyway, TNT sister network CNN is hosting the next Republican debate, and it was around midnight on the East Coast, so why not have Charles Barkley talk about politics for five minutes to promote the debate?

Barkley, you’ll be surprised to hear, has opinions about things.

“This Donald Trump thing has been fascinating, sad, funny. It’s all over the place,” Barkley said to start, before turning to Trump’s attacks on illegal immigrants. “Living in Arizona, I think the Hispanics are amazing people. To lump all Hispanics together, that was insulting. Now to lump all the Muslims together, that’s even more insulting. … To try to divide and conquer, which is what the Republicans always do, it’s just sad. … And then you got these losers who love that because they’re afraid to look in the mirror and say why their life sucks. So they have to blame other people. Your life sucks because of you, not because of Hispanics.”

Here are some Muslim sports heroes (CC: Donald Trump)

Barkley, who said he has long voted Democratic, said he was thinking about supporting Republican candidate John Kasich, “but he has not got any traction whatsoever.”

Finally, Barkley veered into his thoughts about CNN, the promotion of which was the point of this whole thing.

“CNN has done an awful job this election, an awful job,” he said. “They have followed ratings and soundbites this entire cycle. I love CNN because they’re part of our company, but they’ve been kissing butt, chasing ratings. They’ve become like Fox News for the Republicans. They follow every single soundbite just to get ratings for these debates. And it’s been sad and frustrating that our company has sold its soul for ratings.”

Man, that Turner holiday party is gonna be awkward.

[H/t: Deadspin]