Don Jr. Tweeted a Deceptive Photo of Anderson Cooper, Accusing Him of Faking His Hurricane Coverage, and Cooper Just Fired Back

Andserson Cooper. (Screenshot via Twitter.)

On Sunday, Donald Trump Jr. tweeted out a photo of Anderson Cooper standing in waist-deep water during a hurricane and claimed that CNN was "lying" and attempting to make his father "look bad."


This was a variation on a meme that made its way around conservative online circles, which accused Cooper of faking a shot to make the flooding look even worse than it was.

View this post on Instagram

You know it’s sad when even the WEATHER is #FakeNews. 🤬😤 #StayWokeMyFriends

A post shared by 🇺🇸 lynnepatton (@lynnepatton) on

The one problem: it's fake news.

So, Cooper took a few minutes during 'AC 360' last night to scold Don Jr., saying, “I debated whether I should even respond tonight to the president’s son.”

He went on:

"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 actually been to a hurricane or a flood. I didn’t see him down in North Carolina over the last few days helping out, lending a hand, but I’m sure he was doing something important besides just tweeting lies.”

One problem with the photograph is that it wasn't taken during Hurricane Florence, which battered the Carolinas over the past several days, but rather it was taken during Hurricane Ike in 2008. Trump Jr. shared the photo without context, and it was promptly retweeted more than 22,000 times.

Cooper displayed Trump's tweet on the air and also shared some of the responses that followed.

Some guy said I was on my knees to make it look deep and then went on to say that I was used to being on my knees, which I assume is some sort of anti-gay reference,” he said. “Very classy.”

Cooper pointed out that at the time the photo was taken, he had actually told viewers that the floodwaters had receded. CNN had also shown footage of emergency vehicles driving down a road which was not nearly as flooded.

“You can argue I didn’t need to be standing in waist-deep water,” Cooper said. “I could have been standing on the road by the camera crew. But, again, I didn’t want to be roaming around on the highway interfering with rescue vehicles in any way. I also wanted to show people how deep the water was and how dangerous it is for anyone driving. It’s easy to make fun of someone standing in water reporting. I get that."

Cooper also explained why he'd chosen to devote so much time on his show to debunking Trump Jr.'s tweet:

“I rarely respond to online conspiracy theorists or cable news cranks looking to get into a mutually beneficial beef that will boost their ratings... I’ve covered hurricanes for about 14 years and it really does make me sad to think that anyone would think that I would try to fake something or overly dramatize a disaster... Look, I don’t expect the president’s son to ever admit that he was wrong or one of the president’s advisers or frankly anyone else who’s retweeted any of these pictures. But I at least thought that they and you should know the truth.”

Critics embraced Cooper's thorough debunking of the lie, and Trump Jr. was soon assailed for propagating it.

Hurricane Florence has killed more than 30 people, and Trump Jr. was also called out for suggesting that the damage wrought by the storm is not as severe.

President Donald Trump himself made headlines last week for discrediting the extent of devastation in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria, though his administration's response to the current disaster has been considerably more prompt.

ABC News

President Donald Trump's impeachment trial began in earnest in the Senate on Tuesday.

Shortly after House impeachment manager, Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA), laid out the evidence against the President unveiled by House Democrats, one of Trump's defense attorneys—Jay Sekulow—asked a question in his rebuttal.

Keep reading...
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Things are heating up in the Senate as the long-awaited Senate trial in the impeachment of President Donald Trump is set to begin on Tuesday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will officially propose a resolution that will set the rules for the trial. He released the proposed rules Monday afternoon.

Keep reading...
Drew Angerer/Getty Images // Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

To commemorate the life and legacy of civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the holiday named after him, many lawmakers participated by volunteering in their communities as a day of service.

President Donald Trump was not one of those people.

Keep reading...
MSNBC

As millions of Americans commemorated the legacy of civil rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., presidential counsellor Kellyanne Conway railed against the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, set to begin in the Senate on Tuesday.

The President, who leaves for the World Economic Forum in Davos on Monday night, has no public plans to commemorate Martin Luther King Day, prompting reporters to ask Kellyanne how he intended to celebrate.

Keep reading...
HBO

The long-awaited tenth season of HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm premiered this week, and the show's creator Larry David wasted no time in skewering current events.

One of the premiere episode's standout moments came when Larry tried on a red Make America Great Again cap—the signature accessory for supporters of President Donald Trump

Keep reading...
Drew Angerer/Getty Images // Stephen F. Somerstein/Getty Images

President Donald Trump's reaction to white supremacists and neo-Nazis in the aftermath of the Charlottesville riots hasn't been forgotten, even two years later.

The President infamously asserted that there were "very fine people on both sides" at the Unite the Right rally, where white supremacists protested the removal of a confederate statue. The ensuing violence resulted in the murder of counter-protestor Heather Heyer.

Keep reading...