CNN anchor Anderson Cooper attempted to connect the racist remarks made by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, to President Donald Trump’s attacks on Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.
King has been facing fierce backlash over comments he made to the New York Times asking why using such language as “white nationalist” and “white supremacist” is offensive. He was denounced by several GOP lawmakers and stripped of his duties on House committees as calls for his resignation continue to grow.
However, during the segment on Tuesday night, Cooper also invoked the renewed attack Trump made at the expense of Warren over her self-claimed Native American heritage also while mocking her video of drinking a beer in her kitchen.
“If Elizabeth Warren, often referred to by me as Pocahontas, did this commercial from Bighorn or Wounded Knee instead of her kitchen, with her husband dressed in full Indian garb, It would have been a smash!” Trump tweeted.
Cooper drew comparison of the remarks made by King and Trump to his panel.
“Is there a difference between what the president has said in the past and what Steve King has said and the reaction to it?"
CNN commentator Tara Setmayer expressed there wasn’t a difference between the two Republicans but noted that the reactions have been different since Trump has “taken over the Republican Party.” She added that the aftermath of Charlottesville was when she determined that President Trump was racist.
She went on to offer kind words about King, remembering him the “nicest guy” she ever met while she worked on Capitol Hill as a staffer, but called his comments “disappointing.”
Cooper also dismissed Trump’s claim that he wasn’t “following” the King controversy.
“Is that just a play to what he believes his base is? Is it the same thing - why he said those things after Charlottesville- ‘good people on both sides?’” Cooper asked.
Conservative commentator David Urban defended the president, insisting that Trump was in fact not following King since he is dealing with the ongoing government shutdown.