“We normally start off the broadcast by saying good evening, but tonight there doesn’t seem to be much that is good about this evening, because a few hours ago the president of the United States revealed so clearly who and what he really is.”
So declared Anderson Cooper at the start of Tuesday’s edition of “Anderson Cooper 360” on CNN, preceding a solemn and methodical takedown of Donald Trump’s jaw-dropping press conference at Trump Tower on Tuesday, in which the president of the United States claimed that “alt-left” protesters were just as responsible for the violence that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, than the torch-carrying, Swastika flag-waving neo-Nazis.
As Cooper remarked, Donald Trump “ripped open wounds that had barely begun healing in Charlottesville, on a subject — race — that has tormented this country from the very beginning, and nearly torn it apart more than once. He ripped open those wounds so he could show the world he did not make a mistake on Saturday when he spoke words that were ill-considered, untrue and insensitive.”
Trump’s remarks at the press conference, added Cooper, “revealed what he truly thinks about race in America… about whether he can be a president for all people, or just for white ones, a president for all people or just the alt-right.”
Trump, continued Cooper, “showed the world how little he knows, or cares about U.S. history. He showed how much a mother’s loss matters to him when weighed against whether or not she praised him. He showed the world how far he’ll go to avoid admitting he’s ever made a mistake,” he said.
“So before we continue, we just want to be real tonight. This was a ‘unite the right’ rally. It was clear from the beginning what kind of people would be attending: white nationalists, white supremacists, neo-Nazis, members of the KKK. They showed up with clubs and shields, and some with long rifles… yet on Saturday the president merely said there was violence on both sides, violence on many sides. He returned to that discredited lie today.”
Anderson went on to blast Trump, “who seemed to go out of his way to whitewash the nature of what was, after all, an explicitly white power rally.”
Cooper also mocked Trump’s contention that the neo-Nazis were simply there to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. “The president makes them sound like history buffs or preservationists, fine people, just quietly protesting,” he said, following that with bone-chilling footage of the “history buffs” marching down the streets of Charlotteville, angrily chanting “Blood and soil!” (a white nationalist slogan) and “Whose streets? Our streets!” while carrying torches.
“Has any president lied so frequently and so fast as this one?” Cooper asked, shredding Trump’s argument that he didn’t respond sooner because he was “waiting for the facts.”
Cooper wrapped his opening by noting that Trump’s statements have drawn fire from many Republicans, including Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, but did point out one person who praised the president’s words: notorious white supremacist and former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke.
You can watch Cooper’s entire segment below:
While Trump supporters were quick to slam Cooper, his blistering editorial hit a nerve in other areas of the Twitterverse, with numerous people praising his report.