CNN's Cooper illustrates the disrespect of Trump's 'shithole' comment on anniversary of catastrophic Haitian quake

  • US President Donald Trump's comment that countries like Haiti are a "shithole" came the day before the 8th anniversary of the country's 2010 earthquake that killed more than 200,000.
  • CNN's Anderson Cooper was in Haiti covering the catastrophe. He witnessed the heroic acts of regular people, unaided by the government, digging their fellow Haitians out of the rubble.
  • Cooper said Trump could learn from the dignity of ordinary Haitians.


On the eve of the anniversary of Haiti's 2010 7.1 magnitude earthquake, which killed more than 200,000 and displaced more than a million, CNN's Anderson Cooper became choked up when responding to President Donald Trump calling the country a "shithole."

Trump's comment came during a meeting with lawmakers on immigration, where he openly bashed Haiti and countries like it, and instead expressed an interest in accepting immigrants from countries like Norway, whose prime minister he had spoken to the day before.

Cooper, one of the first journalists on the ground after the massive earthquake reduced much of Haiti's capital of Port Au Prince to rubble, detailed the harrowing feats of humanity and strength he witnessed there.

"For days and weeks without help from their own government or police, the people of Haiti dug through rubble with their bare and bloodied hands to save strangers, guided only by the cries of the wounded and the dying," Cooper recounted.

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Anderson Cooper through the years
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Pictured: Anderson Cooper -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 18: (L-R) Jeffrey Zucker and Anderson Cooper attend the 2014 CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute at the American Museum of Natural History on November 18, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Pictured (l-r): Kelly Ripa and Anderson Cooper -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 0016 -- Pictured: (l-r) Journalist Anderson Cooper during an interview with host Seth Meyers on March 17, 2014 -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 11: Sean Penn and Anderson Cooper attend the 3rd annual Sean Penn & Friends HELP HAITI HOME Gala benefiting J/P HRO presented by Giorgio Armani at Montage Beverly Hills on January 11, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for J/P Haitian Relief Organization)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 08: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) (L-R) Anderson Cooper, Kathy Griffin and Gloria Steinem attend Kathy Griffin's Carnegie Hall Performance official after party hosted by Anderson Cooper at Trattoria Dell Arte Restaurant on November 8, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 27: Television personality Anderson Cooper arrives to 'Late Show with David Letterman' at Ed Sullivan Theater on August 27, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Jeffrey Ufberg/WireImage)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Pictured (l-r): Anderson Cooper and Cher -- Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 16: Anderson Cooper attends the 24th annual GLAAD Media awards at The New York Marriott Marquis on March 16, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Stewart/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: (L-R) Actress Betty White, television personality Lisa Vanderpump, and media personality Anderson Cooper pose for a picture as 'RHOBH' Lisa Vanderpump Co-Host's Anderson Live With Guest Betty White at CBS Studios on January 8, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Anderson Live)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 04: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Anderson Cooper and Christie Brinkley host Anderson Live at CBS Studios on December 4, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Anderson Live)
Honoree Pushpa Basnet the Early Childhood Development Center and host Anderson Cooper onstage during the CNN Heroes: An All Star Tribute at The Shrine Auditorium on December 2, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. 23046_006_MB_2354.JPG
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 21: Bill Gates, and Anderson Cooper attend Together To End AIDS: An Evening To Benefit amfAR and GBCHealth at John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on July 21, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 26: TV personality Anderson Cooper arrives at the 2012 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter at Sunset Tower on February 26, 2012 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 12: Anderson Cooper tapes a segment for his talk show 'Anderson' at Boston Market on October 12, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for Anderson)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - SEPTEMBER 27: Anderson Cooper seen in the Meatpacking District on September 27, 2011 in New York City, New York. (Photo by Josiah Kamau/BuzzFoto/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 14: Journalist Anderson Cooper unveils his wax figure at Madame Tussauds on September 14, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Charles Eshelman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 19: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Anderson Cooper visits Elvis Duran and Z100 morning show team at the Z100 Studios on August 19, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images for the Z100 Morning Show)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MAY 28: Anderson Cooper, honorary marshall for the 95th running of Indianapolis 500 during the parade for the 100th Anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 on May 28, 2011 in the streets of Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)
Anderson Cooper sighting at Time Warner building on May 9, 2011 in New York City.
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 15: Anderson Cooper attends Hope for Depression Research Foundation 10th Annual Hope Luncheon Seminar at The Plaza Hotel on November 15, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
***USA OUT***CANADA OK*** NEW YORK - MAY 18: Anderson Cooper seen at the 2016 Turner Upfront held at Nick & Stef's Steakhouse on May 18, 2016 in New York City. PHOTOGRAPH BY PhotoImagePress/Barcroft Images London-T:+44 207 033 1031 E:hello@barcroftmedia.com - New York-T:+1 212 796 2458 E:hello@barcroftusa.com - New Delhi-T:+91 11 4053 2429 E:hello@barcroftindia.com www.barcroftimages.com (Photo credit should read PhotoImagePress/Barcroft Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - MAY 15: CEO of Indigo Heather Reisman and Anderson Cooper attend the book signing of his new book 'The Rainbow Comes And Goes' at Indigo Manulife Centre on May 15, 2016 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by GP Images/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 15: Anderson Cooper attends AOL Build Speaker Series to discuss 'Nothing Left Unsaid' at AOL Studios In New York on April 15, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 04: Anderson Cooper and Gloria Vanderbilt attend the 'Nothing Left Unsaid' premiere at Time Warner Center on April 4, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Donna Ward/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 04: Anderson Cooper visits at SiriusXM Studio on April 4, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 07: Gloria Vanderbilt and Anderson Cooper in conversation at Barnes & Noble Union Square on April 7, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - MARCH 29: Republican Presidential candidate Ohio Gov. John Kasich takes part in a town hall event moderated by Anderson Cooper March 29, 2016 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Candidates are campaigning in Wisconsin ahead of the state's April 5th primary. (Photo by Darren Hauck/Getty Images)
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Cooper had to pause to collect himself while recalling the plight of a five-year-old boy who had been buried under rubble for seven days.

"Do you know what strength it takes to survive on rainwater buried under concrete?" Cooper asked. "The people of Haiti have been through more... they fought back against more injustice than our president ever has," said Cooper. 

Cooper acknowledged that Haiti, like all countries, contains a mix of people, but insisted on a dignity throughout the national character.

"It's a dignity many in this White House could learn from. It's a dignity that the president, with all his money and power, could learn from as well," said Cooper. 

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