CNN's Anderson Cooper unloads on Trump Jr. for spreading 'idiotic' conspiracy theories about him

CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Monday unloaded on Twitter users, including Donald Trump Jr.Donald (Don) John TrumpAnother New York condo votes to remove 'Trump' from name Trump's son attacks LGBT magazine op-ed that calls effort to decriminalize homosexuality 'racist' Gillibrand uses Trump Jr. tweet to fundraise MORE, spreading conspiracy theories about his coverage of Hurricane Florence.

Cooper said that in recent days, conspiracy theorists including President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchiff urges GOP colleagues to share private concerns about Trump publicly US-China trade talks draw criticism for lack of women in pictures Overnight Defense: Trump to leave 200 troops in Syria | Trump, Kim plan one-on-one meeting | Pentagon asks DHS to justify moving funds for border wall MORE's eldest son have shared a photo from his coverage of 2008’s Hurricane Ike and falsely claimed that it shows him exaggerating the depths of floodwaters in Hurricane Florence.

“I usually let conspiracy theorists go unanswered,” Cooper said, and referenced a number of online conspiracy theories accusing him of faking reporting on the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and in Haiti.


In a nearly 10-minute segment live on CNN, Cooper debunked the theories by playing old CNN clips and explaining the make-up of the shot and the hurricane’s damage.

“I’ve covered hurricanes for about 14 years, and it really does make me sad to think that anyone would believe that I would try to fake something or overly dramatize a disaster,” Cooper said.

The CNN anchor specifically tore into Trump Jr., who tweeted the 2008 photo and accused Cooper of “lying” to try to make his father “look bad.”

Cooper hit Trump Jr. over his big-game hunting, which has repeatedly drawn criticism from wildlife advocates.

“I know he considers himself an outdoorsman and pays a lot of money to be led to wildlife in Africa that he then kills,” Cooper said. “But I’m not sure if he’s ever actually been to a hurricane or a flood.”

“I didn’t see him down in North Carolina the last few days helping out, lending a hand,” Cooper continued. “But I’m sure he was busy doing something important besides just tweeting lies.”

He went on to detail the “behind-the-scenes” of the shot, which shows a CNN cameraman standing ankle-deep in floodwaters, while Cooper stands in deeper waters a few feet away.

“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.

Cooper ended the segment by pointing out that the person filming Cooper in the photo, longtime CNN audio tech Doug Thomas, died in September 2017, further proving that the footage was not taken during Florence.

“We miss him every day,” Cooper said.