On Thursday's Anderson Cooper 360, host Cooper picked up on the NFL's Doug Baldwin calling President Donald Trump an "idiot" over his comments in support of the NFL trying to deter kneeling during the National Anthem, as the CNN host gave Baldwin an unchallenged forum as a guest to explain his views.
Cooper began the segment at 9:50 p.m. Eastern by showing a clip of President Trump's comments from an interview with FNC's Brian Kilmeade. Here's what Trump said:
You have to stand proudly for the National Anthem -- or you shouldn't be playing. You shouldn't be there -- maybe you shouldn't be in the country. You have to stand proudly for the National Anthem. And the NFL owners did the right thing if that's what they've done.
The CNN host recalled that Baldwin of the Seattle Seahawks "was blunt today when he was asked his reaction to the President's remarks."
Then came two soundbites of Baldwin, the first declaring: "He's an idiot, plain and simple."
A second soundbite showed the NFL player lamely claiming that Trump was behaving unpatriotically by supporting a ban on kneeling during the anthem:
For him to say that anybody who doesn't follow his viewpoints or his constituents' viewpoints, you know, should be kicked out of the country -- it's not very empathetic -- it's not very American-like actually. It's not very patriotic -- it's not what this country was founded upon, so it's kind of ironic to me that the President of the United States is contradicting what our country is really built on.
Cooper then brought aboard the NFL player as a guest and began by asking for his "response" to the President declaring that those who refuse to stand "shouldn't be in the country."
After Baldwin again complained that Trump's comments were "very unpatriotic," the CNN host followed up by suggesting President Trump is against the kneeling protests because he does not understand their meaning. And here's Cooper:
Earlier today, I know, at a press conference, you called the President "an idiot, plain and simple." Is that how you see him? And do you think he just doesn't understand what these protests are about? Or do you think he just has another motive?
The CNN host did not press his guest on the fuzzy logic of how it is unpatriotic to speak out against unpatriotic behavior, nor did he offer any other pushback against his guest's views.