On Tuesday, CNN's Anderson Cooper excoriated President Donald Trump for retweeting a conspiracy theory alleging the Clintons murdered hedge fund manager and accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein — and for not even wanting to take responsibility for it.
"This president ... apparently doesn’t have either the courage or imagination to come up with this sleazy unfounded conspiracy theory on his own, so instead, he takes the time to retweet the sleazy unfounded tweet," said Cooper. "Which is fine. It’s something he did in the spur of the moment and maybe thought better of it and moved on and felt bad about it, beneath the dignity of office, not presidential. But no. Not this president. Today, in fact, the president defended his conspiracy-mongering by describing the source of the tweet and how respected he is."
"He's a very highly respected conservative pundit," said Trump in a clip, referring to Terrence K. Williams, the author of the tweet. "He’s a big Trump fan. That was a retweet. That wasn’t from me, that was from him. But he’s a man who has half a million followers, a lot of followers and he's respected. The retweet, which is what it was — it was a retweet — was from somebody that's a very conservative pundit so I think that was fine."
"He’s a self-styled comedian," said Cooper, referring to Williams. "Because someone has half a million Twitter followers, they are respected or legitimate. The size of your crowd and Twitter following and rating, fine. We know this. It sad, it's, shallow but it's nothing surprising."
"The second thing to note that was a retweet defense," said Cooper. "This is a personal favorite of mine for quite some time, going back to the campaign, because for all his talk about being tough and taking the heat, 'that was a retweet' is like when your five-year-old blames his four-year-old brother for hitting him first and claiming he started it. Can you imagine if the president was hauled in for questioning on something, he would turn on a dime. Wasn’t me. It was him."