Anderson Cooper Takes Down Trump Jr. Over Hurricane Coverage Conspiracy

Now Donald Trump Jr. is saying Cooper is the one who is lying about him, not the other way around.

Anderson Cooper has responded to Donald Trump Jr. after he tweeted a picture of the CNN anchor reporting in waist deep water, and criticizing the network for lying to try to make his father look bad.

Former Trump administration official Gavin Smith tweeted a similar picture, claiming Cooper was exaggerating the severity of Hurricane Florence.

Both pictures show Cooper reporting not from the Carolinas or Virginia this past week or weekend, but rather from Texas, during the aftermath of Hurricane Ike in 2008. The conspiracy has gotten popular enough to garner its own Snopes debunking.

Cooper noted he had stayed quiet in the past when finding himself at the center of conspiracies, such as by Alex Jones during his coverage of the Sandy Hook school shooting. Cooper said he didn’t want to give in to the taunting those who might want to use a public feud to raise their own profile.

But he decided to make an exception in this case, and took down his critics with class, sass, and facts.

After questioning if Trump Jr. had ever been to a natural disaster, or if he keeps his outdoor adventures to the paying “a lot of money to be led to wildlife in Africa that he then kills” variety, Cooper deconstructed what he called his “lies.”

First he pointed out the photographs were a decade old, and were being misconstrued online, before addressing why he was standing in deep water when crew members could be seen standing on higher ground.

For one, he said, he had wanted to stay off the roads as to not block rescue efforts, which were still underway. Additionally, he was trying to illustrate the dangerous nature of trying to travel along those streets, as people often attempt to drive around blockades or debris and quickly find themselves in water deeper than they had anticipated, he explained. The crew had to be on higher ground, however, to protect the equipment.

The full segment follows.

Trump Jr. responded to Cooper’s report on Twitter, claiming Cooper lied about him, arguing he never explicitly stated the picture was from his Hurricane Florence coverage, and that it was meant merely to be “illustrative of the bs you sell!”

President Trump has been vulnerable to criticism due his handling of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, and his subsequent denial of the death count of nearly 3,000, as well as for moving almost $10 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

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