Anderson Cooper addressed President Donald Trump’s remarks today, in which the president referred to nations like El Salvador and Haiti as “s—hole countries,” becoming emotional as he described his experiences with Haiti and its people.
“I want to take a moment to talk about Haiti, one of the places the president of the United States called a ‘s—hole country,'” he began on “Anderson Cooper 360.”
Cooper described his experience being taught math in high school by a Haitian immigrant who, after returning to his native country, was assassinated while running for president, and explained that he had spent months in Haiti over the course of his career, first visiting the country in the 1990s and reporting on the ground after the earthquake struck in 2010.
“Like all countries, Haiti is a collection of people: it’s rich and poor, well-educated and not, good and bad,” he said. “But I’ve never met a Haitian who isn’t strong.”
“But let me be clear tonight,” he continued. “The people of Haiti have been through more. They’ve been through more, they’ve withstood more. They’ve fought back against more injustice than our president ever has.”
Cooper detailed some of the statistics born of the earthquake, including the fact that it killed between 220,000 and 300,000 people, and described the effort the people of Haiti undertook to save “complete strangers, guided only by the cries of the wounded and the dying,” with little help from the government or police.
“I was there when a young girl, who’d been trapped in rubble in nearly a day was rescued by people who had no heavy equipment. They only had their God-given strength and their determination and their courage,” he said.
“I was there” — Cooper broke off and swallowed, holding back tears — “when a 5-year-old boy was rescued after being buried for more than seven days. Do you know what strength it takes to survive on rainwater, buried under concrete? A 5-year-old boy, buried for seven days.”
“Haitians slap your hand hard when they shake it, they don’t blink. They stand tall and they have dignity. It’s a dignity many in this White House could learn from,” he finished. “It’s a dignity the president, with all his money and all his power, could learn from as well.”
Watch the clip below.