CNN anchor Anderson Cooper angrily responded to a viral tweet from Donald Trump Jr. Monday night. The tweet implied Cooper mislead CNN viewers by overstating the power of Hurricane Florence in order to harm President Donald Trump.
What's the background?
On Sunday, Trump Jr. tweeted out the picture, which showed Cooper standing in waist-deep water while a camera crew stood in much shallower water. The tweet made it appear that Cooper staged a live shot by faking the depth of flood waters.
Trump Jr. accused Cooper and CNN of "lying" to make the president "look bad."
The problem is that the image is from 2008 when Cooper covered Hurricane Ike's landfall in Texas.
The image was widely shared by conspiracy theorists over the weekend after a meteorologist for The Weather Channel was caught overstating the power of Hurricane Florence.
What did Cooper say?
After debunking the conspiracy theory that he somehow staged a live scene to harm the president, Cooper launched a broadside against Trump Jr. for not assisting North Carolina with disaster relief. He also blasted Trump Jr. for hunting large animals in Africa.
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. Now I debated whether I should even respond tonight to the president's son.
I know he considers himself an outdoors man and pay 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 flood. 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.
For the next five minutes, Cooper showed multiple clips of his 2008 broadcast from the flood waters. He explained why he was standing in the waters, namely to stay out of the road where rescue personnel were operating and provide viewers with additional context on Ike's power.
"Well, look, I don't expect the president's son to ever admit he was wrong or one of the president's former advisers or frankly anyone else who's retweeted these pictures. But I at least thought that they and you should know the truth," Cooper said.
How did Trump Jr. respond?
In a Tuesday morning Twitter rant, Trump Jr. hit Cooper for falsely claiming that he said the viral image showed Cooper "in Florence faking the depths of flood waters in order to somehow harm his father."
He said Cooper was doing what CNN does best: "Crying & Lying."