Anderson Cooper left many 60 Minutes viewers frustrated Sunday night after he asked Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) if she believes President Donald Trump is a racist.
The exchange went as follows:
Cooper: "You don't talk about President Trump very much. Why?"
AOC: "No, because I think he's a symptom of a problem."
Cooper: "What do you mean?"
AOC: "The president certainly didn't invent racism. But he's certainly given a voice to it and expanded it and given a platform to those things."
Cooper: "Do you believe President Trump is a racist?"
AOC: "Yeah, yeah. No question."
Cooper's questionable response:
"How can you say that?"
To which Ocasio-Cortez replied:
"When you look at the words that he uses, which are historic dog whistles of white supremacy. When you look at the way he reacted to the Charlottesville incident, where neo-Nazis murdered a woman, versus how he manufactures crises like immigrants seeking refuge on our borders... it's night and day."
.@AOC says Trump is a racist, “no question.” https://t.co/CSQnmCVJi2— jordan (@jordan)1546819584.0
Twitter pummeled Cooper for his apparent obliviousness to Trump's evident racial animus.
"There is no debate," Matt McDermott said.
This is a pretty weird exchange. Yes, of course Donald Trump is a racist. There is absolutely no debate to be ha… https://t.co/1s0oWXIki9— Matt McDermott (@Matt McDermott)1546825501.0
He was not alone.
We all need to agree to a set of facts. That Donald Trump is a racist is a fact. If the media wants to ask Demo… https://t.co/YbDqIPoPni— Matt McDermott (@Matt McDermott)1546826176.0
@mattmfm @ParkerMolloy Thank you. I was yelling at the tv during that exchange. Simply asking that question serves… https://t.co/HGwei1wWde— Jessica Porter (@Jessica Porter)1546825873.0
@mattmfm So do they literally need to see him with a hood on? I'm just trying to understand...— Monica Vanzant (@Monica Vanzant)1546827842.0
@mattmfm @ParkerMolloy Anderson: Do you believe the earth is round? AOC: Yeah. Yeah. No question. Anderson: How can you say that?— Ricardo Puentes (@Ricardo Puentes)1546835614.0
From the Central Park Five to birtherism, to chiding Mexicans as rapists and criminals during his presidential campaign kickoff speech, not to mention his history of refusing to rent apartments to black people, Trump's wake of racist behavior is no secret.
@mattmfm For the umpteenth time... Central Park 5. He refused to rent to African Americans.. this all happened lon… https://t.co/o7oGKteBwh— ((( joyce ))) (@((( joyce ))))1546828042.0
@mattmfm He launched his political career with birtherism in 2011, and labeling Mexicans as drug dealers and rapists in 2016. No question.— PDG887 (@PDG887)1546826130.0
@mattmfm Trump and his father were investigated by the Nixon White House for housing discrimination against minorit… https://t.co/kCceUdLC6I— Cheryl #TooFarLeft 🌹 (@Cheryl #TooFarLeft 🌹)1546866074.0
@JordanUhl @AOC Also, Trump (and Melania) were a force behind birtherism. It was and continues to be despicable the… https://t.co/T29LoWSsAH— Linda Michel-Cassidy (@Linda Michel-Cassidy)1546844610.0
@JordanUhl @DrAntagonist @AOC "...has repeatedly condemned racism and bigotry in all forms." And, despite his 40+ y… https://t.co/KMKthkyBTT— RealityMonger 🏳️🌈/ #IStandWithSchiff #FuckTrump (@RealityMonger 🏳️🌈/ #IStandWithSchiff #FuckTrump)1546826107.0
The White House responded by calling Ocasio-Cortez's comments "sheer ignorance" because Trump recently signed a criminal justice reform bill into law last month which eases mandatory minimum sentences and attempts to reduce recidivism in the federal prison system.
It did not play well.
@JordanUhl @AOC The fact that the White house antiquates criminal justice reform and racism tells us all we need to know.— Tired of the B.S. (@Tired of the B.S.)1546822027.0
@JordanUhl @AOC Nope. He has NOT condemned racism and we -- the world -- watched, waited, wondered why he did NOT.… https://t.co/2a5rd9k4Ao— Alexandra Allred (@Alexandra Allred)1546822100.0
@JordanUhl @AOC Miss me with criminal justice reform when Trump appointed Jeff Sessions as the US Attorney General… https://t.co/f82EnoaMEj— Quincy McCall (@Quincy McCall)1546837483.0
@JordanUhl @AOC I like how the White House tried to act like Trump condemning it proves he's not. As if we A) haven… https://t.co/LYzK0AIP9O— josh T. (@josh T.)1546833031.0
On the other hand, Ocasio-Cortez was praised for standing her ground and speaking the truth.
The Congresswoman did not hold back, and people love her for it.
@JordanUhl @AOC Evertime I think she's going to sugar coat something with a politically correct spin she speaks wit… https://t.co/KwATICJZWB— Antonio Sosa (@Antonio Sosa)1546828132.0
@JordanUhl @AOC OMG that is good as Hell. That woman is going to be sitting at the resolute desk someday. No doubt.— 🌹 Clark Feels The Bern (@🌹 Clark Feels The Bern)1546829591.0
@JordanUhl @ContraPoints @AOC She actually left out the most damning part, which is that lawsuit against his compan… https://t.co/qGTzVLcZbO— Owain Jones 🌹 (@Owain Jones 🌹)1546849372.0
@JordanUhl @AOC And she’s right omg I love her— Gabriel 🐁 (@Gabriel 🐁)1546830668.0
@JordanUhl @AOC The definition of speaking truth to power.— Stacy Jurado-Miller (@Stacy Jurado-Miller)1546826710.0
@JordanUhl @AOC I’m proud of the fact that@AOC does not give tRump a platform. She is too busy getting on with the… https://t.co/5t29FAEPug— Carolina Carraro (@Carolina Carraro)1546848403.0
Trump is in for a long two years.