Former President Donald Trump's recent comments about the state of Washington, D.C., since he left office drew a swift response from CNN's Anderson Cooper, who countered Trump's narrative by reminding viewers of the context in which Trump departed the city.
Trump issued his remarks after Special Counsel Jack Smith indicted Trump in connection with his widespread efforts to overturn the 2020 election result.
Trump faces four felony counts, including conspiracy to defraud the United States and conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding. The indictment further accuses him of attempting to exploit the events of January 6—the day a mob of his supporters attacked the United States Capitol on the false premise the election had been stolen—to further his quest to maintain power.
During a press interaction at Reagan National Airport, Trump lamented the condition of Washington, D.C., stating:
“This is a very sad day for America, and it was also very sad driving through Washington, D.C., and seeing the filth and the decay and all of the broken buildings and walls and the graffiti. This is not the place that I left. It’s a very sad thing to see it."
He echoed these sentiments on his Truth Social platform, branding the city as "FILTHY, DIRTY, FALLING APART, & VERY UNSAFE." He also suggested he'd been "ARRESTED BY MY POLITICAL OPPONENT," falsely suggesting the Biden administration had arrested him to stop him from running in the 2024 election.
You can see his post below.
Cooper, however, offered a fact-checking perspective, pointing out that when Trump left office, the city was under a state of heightened security due to concerns that his supporters would try to stop the inauguration of President Joe Biden, his Democratic opponent.
The attack led to increased security measures and road closures, creating a different atmosphere from the one Trump remembered.
“We should point out that when the former president left office and left Washington, D.C., the city was on lockdown because of the attack on Jan. 6."
"That is the city he left behind."
You can hear Cooper's response below.
Indeed, a view of Trump's motorcade in D.C. shows there is no "filth" or "decay" to be found at the level Trump described.
Many have echoed Cooper's assessment of Trump's statements.
The aftermath of the Capitol riot necessitated unprecedented security measures in the city, including the presence of 25,000 National Guard members during President Joe Biden's inauguration, the erection of a 7-foot fence around the Capitol, and the closure of the National Mall to the public.
Additionally, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia reported over $2.7 million in damages resulting from the attack, with resulted in at least five deaths.
Trump currently faces 78 criminal counts across three criminal cases.
His indictment on charges he attempted to overturn the 2020 election came after he was indicted for stealing classified documents from the White House. He has also been charged with campaign finance violations in the state of New York in connection with a hush money payment he made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels.