Anderson Cooper calls out Maxine Waters over Trump tweet: 'Does that hurt your cause?'

On Wednesday's AC360, Anderson Cooper questioned Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters over her recent Twitter attack on Donald Trump. In a tweet on Tuesday, Waters said impeachment wasn't enough for the president. "He needs to be imprisoned and put in solitary confinement."

"Is a statement like that, saying that that he needs to be imprisoned and put in solitary confinement. Doesn't that hurt your cause in terms of public sentiment?" asked Cooper.

In response, Waters said she finds it interesting that the focus is on what the members of Congress say, and not the president. Then the California congresswomen quickly pivoted to Trump's civil war tweet from Sunday.

"He's talked about starting or encouraging a civil war. Now, why aren't we putting more time and effort on unveiling what the president is saying? Asking him, ‘What do you mean by that? Are you dog-whistling to the white supremacists?’ I think that's what should be talked about," said Waters.

After addressing the severity of Trump's civil war insinuation, Water brought up Trump's call for the whistleblower to be punished like a spy. "Whistleblowers are patriotic people who care about their country. He's calling them spies and then implying that they should be killed," said Waters, adding "That's what we should be talking about, we don't hear enough about that. The press does not bear down on him on these issues."

Cooper chuckled at the congresswoman's insinuation that the press doesn't bear down those issues. "I would encourage you to watch more CNN because I certainly think we talk about those things a lot," responded Cooper.

Not one to back down, Cooper once again asked Waters about the optics of her "solitary confinement" tweet. This time he cited Nancy Pelosi's call for House Democrats to maintain dignity during the impeachment process.

Waters said in response, "I've had the courage to stand up when nobody else would stand with me. So people know that I'm responsible and that I'm serious and, like I said, that impeachment is the imperative." And that's what she wants people to take away from her tweet.

But, before ending the interview, Waters issued one more warning about President Trump's civil war comment. "There are right-wing supremacists up in the hills practicing how they're going to have a war against the government of the United States. And then you have the president playing into that, dog-whistling to that. That's what I want to hear the press talking about."

AC360 airs weeknights at 8 p.m. on CNN.

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