Anderson Cooper says calling President Trump an “obese turtle” in viral remarks this week was uncalled for.
On Thursday, the CNN anchor compared Trump to the reptile after the president gave a press conference preemptively claiming re-election “by historic numbers” based on “legal votes.” Trump has repeatedly made baseless accusations that Democrats committed election fraud with mail-in ballots and demanded recounts in states led by his opponent Joe Biden. On Saturday, the former vice president earned 290 electoral votes, bypassing the required 270 to win the U.S. presidency. During Trump’s speech, several news networks interrupted airing to refute Trump’s remarks.
Later on CNN, Cooper reacted: “That is the President of the United States. That is the most powerful man in the world. And we see him like an obese turtle on his back, flailing in the hot sun, realizing his time is over.” The clip was reportedly viewed on Twitter 10 million times, inspiring turtle memes and backlash toward the television host for making body-shaming comments.
On Saturday, Cooper attempted to remedy the incident during an interview with former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, who expressed, “I could not be any happier” over the outcome of the election.
On the subject of Biden’s forthcoming coronavirus task force to tackle the growing pandemic and Trump’s resistance to concede (the president has filed lawsuits in several states disputing ballot processes), Yang chuckled over Cooper’s insult.
“I think he’s taking the right approach,” said Yang. “We have so much work to do and so little time. And I’m happy to say it seems like Trump is going to be, in your words, an obese turtle on his back, just flailing around Anderson, while Joe and Kamala [Harris] are already starting to put the work in...”
Cooper waited for Yang to finish before adding, “By the way I should say, I regret using those words because that’s not the person I really wanna be. It was in the heat of the moment, and I regret it.”
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