CNN’s Cooper: Trump Doesn’t See Bomb Targets as ‘Human Beings’

Mere moments after President Trump called for national unity at a Wisconsin rally in the wake of attempted bombings of prominent Democrats and CNN, CNN host Anderson Cooper kicked off AC360 by decrying the President’s speech.

Not long after that, Cooper and senior White House correspondent Jeff Zeleny teamed up to tear into the President for the things he “did not say.” And according to Cooper, the mind reader, Trump didn’t see the targets of the attacks as human beings.

In his speech, Trump forcefully denounced the attacks. “Any acts or threats of political violence are an attack on our democracy, itself. No nation can succeed that tolerates violence or the threat of violence as a method of political intimidation, coercion, or control,” he said.

“Those engaged in the political arena must stop treating political opponents as being morally defective,” Trump added while alluding to those who compare others to Adolf Hitler. He also spoke about the liberal media and said they had a role to play in bringing people together as well: “As part of a larger national effort to bridge our divides and bring people together, the media also has a responsibility to set a civil tone and to stop the endless hostility[.]”

Moments later, CNN cut away from the rally to feature an irate Cooper looking to take swipes. “That’s the President speaking in Wisconsin. Speaking quite hypocritically, I just have to say,” he spat. Cooper indignantly complained that Trump did not refer to CNN by name in his remarks:

He made no mention of an explosive device sent to this building behind me. The headquarters of CNN. A news organization he routinely attacks. He calls reporters the enemy of the American people. And, yet, he said it's the media's fault for the kind of reporting that media organizations have been doing.

He also made what appears to be a first attempt at something familiar, putting the perpetrator and victim on equal footing,” Cooper claimed.

 

 

About 20 minutes later, Cooper brought on Zeleny so they could decry “what the President did and did not say today throughout the day.” One of the first things Cooper railed against the President for was not naming the targets. “He gave no names, nothing to indicate he sees them as individual human beings and distinguished former public servants,” he suggested.

“Anderson, one thing the President did not say, he did not say that this was an act of domestic terrorism,” Zeleny said. The White House reporter then claimed he asked Trump about it in the East Room and “he looked me square in the face and did not answer the question.”

Zeleny also lambasted Trump for “not take responsibility at all for any of the heated rhetoric”. “Tonight, you could hear him spreading around the blame and talking about the media there, saying stop the hostility,” he griped. He chided the President for allegedly looking for the media to be yes-men and took a shot at Trump supporters: “We did not hear the President accept any bit of responsibility for something he and his supporters do and lead.”

While Cooper and Zeleny dinged Trump for his incivility, they really need to look in a mirror and take stock, as these NewsBusters headlines showed:

Even when Trump tries to be presidential, CNN has to fight him on it. This is CNN.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360
October 24, 2018
8:00 p.m. Eastern

(…)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Any acts or threats of political violence are an attack on our democracy, itself. No nation can succeed that tolerates violence or the threat of violence as a method of political intimidation, coercion, or control. We all know that.

Such conduct must be fiercely opposed and firmly prosecuted. We want all sides to come together in peace and harmony. We can do it. We can do it. We can do it. It’ll happen. More broadly, there's much we can do to bring our nation together.

For example, those engaged in the political arena must stop treating political opponents as being morally defective. Have to do that. The language of moral condemnation and destructive routine, these are arguments and disagreements that have to stop. No one should carelessly compare political opponents to historical villains, which is done often. It's done all the time. Got to stop. We should not mob people in public spaces or destroy public property. There is one way to settle our disagreements. It's called: peacefully at the ballot box. That's what we want. That's what we want.

As part of a larger national effort to bridge our divides and bring people together, the media also has a responsibility to set a civil tone and to stop the endless hostility and constant negative and oftentimes false attacks and stories. Have to do it. They've got to stop. Bring people together.

(…)

ANDERSON COOPER: That’s the President speaking in Wisconsin. Speaking quite hypocritically, I just have to say. He talked about explosive devices being sent to former government officials. He made no mention of an explosive device sent to this building behind me. The headquarters of CNN. A news organization he routinely attacks. He calls reporters the enemy of the American people. And, yet, he said it's the media's fault for the kind of reporting that media organizations have been doing. What happened today was an act of terror. Terror designed to kill or maim, to scare, or to silence.

(…)

8:22 p.m. Eastern

COOPER: What the President said at the top of the hour about today's attempted bombings is notable for what he left out. Namely, any of the intended victims. To President Trump, a former secretary of state, and two ex-presidents are in his words merely former high-ranking government officials. He gave no names, nothing to indicate he sees them as individual human beings and distinguished former public servants. As two former presidents of the United States.

He also made what appears to be a first attempt at something familiar, putting the perpetrator and victim on equal footing. He also made no mention either of the bombs sent to the offices right behind me here, at CNN. It was striking and it bears repeating what he said. Take a look.

(…)

COOPER: That was the president of the United States tonight responding to the attempted bombings that occurred today. More controversy earlier as well and the president's comments. CNN's Jeff Zeleny joins us now with that. So, Jeff, explain what the President did and did not say today throughout the day.

JEFF ZELENY: Anderson, one thing the president did not say, he did not say that this was an act of domestic terrorism. That is something that the New York mayor said. It's also something Republican Speaker Paul Ryan said shortly before the president arrived there in Wisconsin. He quieted down the crowd of supporters and said make no mistake, this is an act of terrorism.

I tried to ask the President about that in the East Room earlier today. If he believed it was. He looked me square in the face and did not answer the question. He did not say that again this evening if he does or does not believe this. That's one thing he did not say. Anderson, he also did not take responsibility at all for any of the heated rhetoric.

Tonight, you could hear him spreading around the blame and talking about the media there, saying stop the hostility. What he's looking for is someone who agrees are with him. That is not in the First Amendment at all. That is not our jobs, quite frankly. We did not hear the President accept any bit of responsibility for something he and his supporters do and lead. He uses the bully pulpit, has the unique ability with the bully pulpit to set the tone here. We learned tonight exactly how he's going to do it. It's not what he said earlier today, a call for unity.

COOPER He also said at the rally tonight that politicians should stop vilifying one another. I mean, the President has called opponents he doesn't evil. I mean, he calls Maxine waters low I.Q. I mean, the idea that he is not the -- I mean, you know, you talk in past administrations about presidents having a bully pulpit. He literally uses it as a bully pulpit.

(…)

COOPER: I mean, he didn't even acknowledge in those remarks that CNN was sent a bomb today. And in fact, the only thing he said right about the media was that the media needs to be nicer to him, essentially.

(…)

ZELENY: He never went from suspicious packages, which is what we thought earlier, to an actual pipe bomb. Also, Anderson, I was very surprised to learn this evening that he did not reach out, this White House did not reach out to President Obama specifically, to the former Secretary of State, the former President, Bill and Hillary Clinton. Yes, they're rivals, but at times like this, sometimes you reach out. They did not update them at all. So that underscores the lack of civility, if you will, in the President's words.

(…)



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