CNN host Anderson Cooper tore into Donald Trump Jr. on Monday night after the president’s son falsely claimed that Cooper was exaggerating the depths of Hurricane Florence’s floodwaters in North Carolina in an attempt to make his father “look bad.”
Trump Jr. on Sunday tweeted a photo of Cooper standing in waist-high floodwater to demonstrate the depths of the floodwaters while a nearby camera crew stands on slightly-higher ground to keep the camera equipment dry. The only problem with the photo is that it wasn’t taken during Hurricane Florence, it was taken a decade ago in Texas during Hurricane Ike.
It’s a shame that CNN’s ratings are down 41%. What’s worse is there’s a simple solution that they refuse to accept. Stop Lying to try to make @realDonaldTrump look bad. https://t.co/O3XyWchsJh pic.twitter.com/BCUCxKnOvO
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) September 16, 2018
“The idea that I am kneeling in water to make it look deep is frankly idiotic,” Cooper said before explaining why his crew was pictured standing on a nearby road. “I’ve covered hurricanes for about 14 years and it really does make me sad to think that anyone would believe that I would try to fake something or overly dramatize a disaster.”
Cooper said that he debated whether he should respond to Trump Jr.’s false claim.
“I rarely respond to online conspiracy theorists,” Cooper noted on Anderson Cooper 360°.
“I know he considers himself an outdoorsman and pays a lot of money to be led to wildlife in Africa that he then kills, but I’m not sure if he’s ever actually been to a hurricane or a flood,” Cooper said. “I didn’t see him down in North Carolina in the last few days helping out, lending a hand, but I’m sure he was busy doing something important besides just tweeting lies.”
Cooper added, noting that the cameraman in the Ike clip, CNN audio tech Doug Thomas, died last year and so couldn’t have been filming Florence footage.
Watch Cooper’s 10-minute segment below: