‘Thug’: Host’s furious Trump takedown
CNN anchor Anderson Cooper has launched a furious attack on US President Donald Trump, labelling the President a "thug" who "claimed a power he doesn't really have."
Cooper editorialised about the escalating tensions between police and protesters in the US while presenting his current affairs analysis program, Anderson Cooper 360.
He spoke as Trump emerged from the White House, where he had briefly been hiding in an underground bunker. Police forcibly moved protesters out of Lafayette Park across the road from the White House so the president could take a photo in front of a church.
It came after the President announced he would mobilise "heavily-armed military forces" to stop the "rioting and looting" taking place in protests across the United States, declaring the riots a "total disgrace".
Cooper said he wanted to discuss the "President of Law and Order, which is how he pronounced himself. He claimed a power he doesn't really have: He can't send the military into every state; that's not law and order. What the president doesn't seem to know or care is that the vast majority of those protesting - they, too, are calling for law and order. A black man killed with four officers holding him down, a knee to the neck for more than eight minutes, nearly three minutes of which he was no longer conscious for? That's not law and order. That's murder. Stopping and frisking a young black man simply because he's a black man? That's not law and order."
"The President seems to think that dominating black people, dominating peaceful protesters, is law and order - it's not. He calls them thugs - who's the thug here? Hiding in a bunker, hiding behind a suit, who is the thug? People have waited for days for this wannabe wartime president to say something, and this is what he says, and that is what he does?"
Cooper's bold use of the word "thug" to describe the President seemed to resonate with viewers:
Anderson Cooper just called Trump a thug hiding in a bunker. pic.twitter.com/STVOqVf399— audiomagnate🔊 (@audiomagnate) June 2, 2020
Anderson cooper called trump a thug on live tv😭😭😭😭 pic.twitter.com/sJKxSuqmYm— PrinceKb💫 (@princekb22) June 2, 2020
@andersoncooper you sir are a national treasure. “Who’s the thug here?” They’ll be talking about this line for decades to come.— Michael Gasparyan (@CFC_Gasparyan) June 2, 2020
Anderson Cooper on @CNN is basically calling Donald Trump a "Thug" on national television. And I have never liked Cooper more.— Janice Hough (@leftcoastbabe) June 2, 2020
Addressing the growing chaos on the streets of America, Cooper, who has reported from war-torn regions including Somalia, Bosnia, and Rwanda, said: "I've seen societies fall apart as a reporter. I've seen people dying in the streets while protesting. I've seen countries ripped apart by hate and misinformation and lies and political demagogues and racism. We can't let that happen here."
"Of course violence is no answer, but people protesting deserve answers, and they haven't gotten them, no matter how many black men have been murdered, lynched, imprisoned, mistreated, redlined, blackballed from jobs. We all know it. People protesting in the streets, they know it, and they're tired of it. And we should be too."
Cooper finished his missive by reminding viewers of the New York curfews imposed during the Harlem riot of 1943.
"There's a curfew in New York tonight at 11pm. We remember another curfew, August 1943, that was the last time there was a curfew like this in the city. You know what that curfew was caused by? A white police officer shooting a black soldier.
The years change, the decades go by, and the sad truth remains."
Later in the show, Cooper mocked Trump for staging the photo opportunity outside the White House after police had removed protesters with force. "He has to sic police on peaceful protesters so he can make a big show of being the little big man walking to a closed down church," he said.
"This event, as I said, if it wasn't so dangerous and disgusting, it would be funny, because it is so low rent and just sad."
Originally published as 'Thug': Host's furious Trump takedown