‘Frankly idiotic’: Anderson Cooper targets Donald Trump Jr.’s claim of lying about hurricane

Click to play video 'Anderson Cooper targets Donald Trump Jr. in rant' Anderson Cooper targets Donald Trump Jr. in rant
WATCH: After the son of U.S. president tweeted a photo of Anderson Cooper implying he was exaggerating hurricane coverage, Cooper called it "frankly idiotic," – Sep 18, 2018

CNN news host Anderson Cooper used 10 minutes of his Monday night episode to defend his previous coverage of hurricanes after the president’s son appeared to accuse him of exaggerating.

In a tweet on Sunday, Donald Trump Jr. posted a picture of Cooper standing waist-deep in water while his cameraman stands on higher ground.

“Stop Lying to try to make @realDonaldTrump look bad,” Trump Jr. wrote.

The tweet also slammed CNN for having bad ratings and suggested coverage of the hurricane was exaggerated. Though he didn’t specify which hurricane, news coverage over the past few days has been focused on Hurricane Florence, which dumped torrents of rain on the Carolinas and flooded cities.

WATCH: Latest news coverage of Tropical Storm Florence 
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Cooper clapped back to the tweet on air during Anderson Cooper 360, showing pictures of Trump Jr. with hunting trophies saying, “I know he considers himself an outdoorsman and pays a lot of money to be led to wildlife in Africa that he then kills.”

He also said he wasn’t “sure if [Trump Jr.’s] actually been to a hurricane or a flood.”

“I didn’t see him down in North Carolina over the last few days helping out, lending a hand, but I’m sure he was doing something important besides just tweeting lies,” Cooper said.

After Trump Jr. tweeted the photo, memes of Anderson Cooper spread online, with many people assuming it was a recent picture.

One trump official wrote on Instagram: “You know it’s sad when even the WEATHER is #FakeNews.”

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Another Trump Staffer shared the photo on Twitter with the caption: “Absolutely disgraceful! Apparently #HurricaneFlorence wasn’t devastating enough for @CNN’s @andersoncooper – so he had to exaggerate for his live shot. #FakeNews at its finest!”

Cooper references one criticism, where someone claims that he was kneeling in the water saying, “The idea that I am kneeling in water to make it look deep is, frankly, idiotic.”

READ MORE: Weather Channel reporter mocked for ‘overly dramatic’ Hurricane Florence coverage

Cooper said that the photo was taken in 2008 during Hurricane Ike, explaining that he was near Bridge City, Texas, and was off the road in deeper water to stay out of the way of the rescue crews. He also explained that the cameraman stayed on the high ground because the equipment would fail in water.

He said he rarely responded to “online conspiracy theorists of cable new cranks,” but felt it was necessary to reply this time.

“I’ve covered hurricanes for about 14 years and it really does make me sad to think that anyone would think that I would try to fake something or overly dramatize a disaster,” he said.

READ MORE: Donald Trump Jr. appears to mock sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh

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“Look, I don’t expect the president’s son to ever admit that he was wrong or one of the president’s advisers or frankly anyone else who’s retweeted any of these pictures. But I at least thought that they and you should know the truth,” he concluded.

It’s not the first time Cooper has used his show to rebut specific comments: in January after U.S. President Donald Trump reportedly called Haiti and African countries “shithole” countries, Cooper made an emotional statement defending the Haitian people.

READ MORE: Anderson Cooper’s passionate defence of Haitians against Trump’s ‘shithole’ remark

Click to play video 'Anderson Cooper gives emotional message about Haiti in response to Trump’s comments' Anderson Cooper gives emotional message about Haiti in response to Trump’s comments
Anderson Cooper gives emotional message about Haiti in response to Trump’s comments – Jan 11, 2018