Tavis Smiley On Obama's Trayvon Martin Speech: 'He Was Pushed To That Podium' (VIDEO)

07/21/2013 01:19 pm ET | Updated Jul 23, 2013

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During a discussion on Sunday's "Meet The Press," Tavis Smiley criticized President Obama's remarks on Trayvon Martin's death and the outcome of the George Zimmerman trial.

Obama surprised everyone, including the White House press corps, when he walked into the briefing room unannounced on Friday. The president candidly commented on Travyon Martin's death, saying that the teen "could have been [him] 35 years ago." Smiley took to Twitter following the president's unexpected comments, calling the remarks "weak as pre-sweetened Kool-Aid."

The PBS host added to his criticism on "Meet the Press." He said:

I appreciate and applaud the fact that the president did finally show up. But this town has been spinning a story that's not altogether true. He did not walk to the podium for an impromptu address to the nation; he was pushed to that podium. A week of protest outside the White House, pressure building on him inside the White House pushed him to that podium. So I'm glad he finally arrived.

But when he left the podium, he still had not answered the most important question, that King-ian question, where do we go from here? That question this morning remains unanswered, at least from the perspective of the president. And the bottom line is this is not Libya, this is America. On this issue, you cannot lead from behind.

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