Cooper Shuts Down Trump Jr. Hurricane Tweet: 'Frankly Idiotic'

Anderson Cooper and Donald Trump Jr

Anderson Cooper and Donald Trump Jr

Trump tweeted: "It's a shame that CNN's ratings are down 41 percent". "Stop Lying to try to make @realDonaldTrump look bad".

But the photo was actually taken in 2008 while Cooper was covering Hurricane Ike in Texas during a 2-hour special on September 13, 2008.

Cooper's cameraman was standing on elevated ground. Cooper, who generally doesn't respond to such conspiracy theories, chose to answer Trump Jr. for his "idiotic" claims.

After Trump Jr. tweeted the photo, memes of Anderson Cooper spread online, with many people assuming it was a recent picture. Cooper spent eight and a half minutes debunking Donald Jr's claims.

Cooper then went off to address Trump Jr. directly. "The idea that I am kneeling in water to make it look deep is frankly, idiotic", Cooper said, before playing a clip showing him walking into the deeper water. "I never said it was Florence". "I'm just getting started".

In one of the photos, Cooper's lower half is submerged, but the water just barely approaches the knee of a member of his crew who is standing nearby. But, again, I didn't want to be roaming around on the highway interfering with rescue vehicles in any way. Additionally, he was trying to illustrate the unsafe 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.

He added, "It's easy to make fun of someone standing in water reporting".

But of course, the diss was not at all subtle, especially because Don Jr. also included the viral photo. And it made him sad to think that certain people believe he would "try to fake something or overly dramatize a disaster".

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"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". "[.] I tell you all of this to point out the obvious - there was plenty of deep water all around".

Trump correct that Cooper did wrongly state that the president's son explicitly sold the picture as a Hurricane Florence shot.

As the Washington Post pointed out, Lynne Patton, who previously worked for the Trump family as an event planner and is now an official at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, shared the meme as well.

One trump official wrote on Instagram: "You know it's sad when even the WEATHER is #FakeNews". When the meme was contextualized and debunked, Patton posted another version with a shark photoshopped in and the hashtags #NeverClaimedItWasFlorence and #MoreFakeNews.

Cooper claimed that the shot was set up that way to showcase how the flood waters were deeper in some areas than others.

In January, Cooper devoted part of his show to responding to the president's infamous "shithole countries" remark, telling viewers about the strength and dignity that he had seen on reporting trips to Haiti.

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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