Anderson Cooper Unloads on Trump Over Falsehoods and Conspiracy Theories: 'What a Little Man'
The CNN host had sharp words for the president on Tuesday
“What a little man,” the CNN host, 52, said about the president during a segment exploring leadership, empathy and compassion. “He’s just a little man. He’s the leader of the free world and he is a little, little man.”
Trump, 73, this week has continued to push an unfounded conspiracy theory claiming MSNBC host Joe Scarborough murdered a former aide in his congressional office in the early 2000s. The theorizing has drawn widespread backlash, including from some Republicans.
The husband of the deceased woman wrote a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey this week asking the social media site to remove Trump's posts about her accidental death — while the president has said he's aware of that request but was doubling down anyway. (Twitter also said it wasn't going to remove the tweets.)
"I'm sure that, ultimately, they want to get to the bottom of it and it's a very serious situation," Trump told reporters on Tuesday, indicating he'd ignore the husband's request.
A medical examiner's report from 2001 shows Lori Klausutis, Scarborough's former aide, died after falling and hitting her head while alone in a satellite office of the former Florida congressman.
Klausutis had an undiagnosed heart condition, the report showed, while Scarborough was in Washington, D.C., at the time of her death.
The medical examiner suspected her heart condition caused an irregular heartbeat which made Klausutis fall unconscious and two people said she had complained of feeling unwell the day of her accident.
TJ Klausutis, Lori's widower, wrote in his letter to Twitter that Lori's death is "the single most painful thing that I have ever had to deal with" in his life.
On his show on Tuesday night, Cooper contended Trump "doesn't have the guts" to acknowledge pushing claims about Scarborough, a vocal Trump critic, was more important than how the dead woman's family felt.
“No, no, he doesn’t have the guts to say, 'I don’t care what they think because this serves my political purposes,' ” Cooper said. “That’s why he’s doing it. He doesn’t have the guts to say it, because he is just a little man, despite his girth and size. He’s a little man inside and he knows that.”
Twitter recently began rolling out a new feature aimed at alerting users that a tweet may contain falsehoods.
The most prominent example so far came Tuesday when the site tagged a pair of Trump's incorrect tweets about mail-in voting, which drew a sharp response from the president Wednesday morning.
Trump claimed the social media site — his preferred platform for communicating with the public — was interfering with the 2020 presidential election by labeling his incorrect statements.
"....Twitter is completely stifling FREE SPEECH, and I, as President, will not allow it to happen!" he exclaimed.
In a statement earlier this month about the labels, Twitter said that in serving the public conversations its "goal is to make it easy to find credible information on Twitter and to limit the spread of potentially harmful and misleading content."
"You won't find the facts in the president's statements," Cooper said on CNN on Tuesday.
“Twitter is now acknowledging you won’t find facts in the president’s statements — that’s where we are,” he said. “In the midst of a pandemic, this is what we’re talking about. This is what the president is talking about every single day. Man. You think it’s normal. You start to think this is just normal. It’s not. Man, we are in trouble.”