Anderson Cooper presses Maxine Waters on controversial Trump tweet

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

Cooper asked: "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?" 

In response, Waters said she found it interesting that the focus was on what the members of Congress say, and not the president. Then the 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.

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Congresswoman Maxine Waters arrives at the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League Pro-Choice America's 2012 Los Angeles Power of Choice Reception in West Hollywood, California May 24, 2012. REUTERS/Gus Ruelas (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT POLITICS SOCIETY)
Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke (R) talks with U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters (L) before he speaks at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's 39th Annual Legislative Conference at the Washington Convention Center in Washington, September 25, 2009. REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES POLITICS BUSINESS)
Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) speaks at a meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus with Senator Joseph Lieberman at her side August 15, 2000 in Los Angeles. Lieberman's past voting record on some affirmitive action issues and vouchers has drawn criticism from various African American leaders. Lieberman has been selected by Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore as his choice for vice president. Lieberman will address the Democratic National Convention August 16, 2000 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. FSP
U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters of California reacts to applause as she is introduced at a U.S. Congressional Black Caucus 'Town Meeting' at Mt. Hermon AME church in Miami Gardens, Florida August 22, 2011. The group is sponsoring a jobs fair in downtown Miami on Monday and they say the fair will include more than 100 employers from around the country. REUTERS/Joe Skipper (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS EMPLOYMENT BUSINESS)
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton poses for a picture with Congresswoman Maxine Waters and Karen Bass (R) durign a visit to the California African American Museum in Los Angeles May 5, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 06: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), C, looks on as U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) speaks at a news conference criticizing President Donald Trump's Wall Street policies on Capitol Hill on February 6, 2017 in Washington, D.C. President Trump is making his first visit to U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command today at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 31: Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) speaks at a press conference on Capitol Hill January 31, 2017 in Washington, DC. Waters called for investigation into Trump administration ties to Russia. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 28: Mark Thompson interviews US Representative from California, Maxine Waters on SiriusXM on July 28, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Donald Kravitz/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
UNITED STATES - JUNE 4: Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., speaks during a press conference with House Democrats on the Export-Import Bank in the Capitol on Thursday, June 4, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 29: Congresswoman Maxine Waters attends the BET Revealed Seminars during the 2013 BET Experience at JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. LIVE on June 29, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images for BET)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 31: (L-R) Congresswoman Maxine Waters, host Roland Martin and actress Jack� attend the taping of TV One's 'Washington Watch With Roland Martin' Hollywood Special at KCET Studios on January 31, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for TV One)
UNITED STATES - FEB 28: Rep. MaxMaxine Waters, D-CA., and U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-CA., and Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-CT., during a news conference on February 28, 2013 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Pelosi and other female members of Congress blamed republicans for doing nothing to stop automatic spending cuts in the so-called sequester, which she said would disproportionately impact women and that Americans ?might as well get a pink slip? directly from House Speaker John Boehner. (Photo By Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)
Former Republican vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan arrives with US Congresswoman Maxine Waters for the 57th Presidential Inauguration ceremonial swearing-in of President Barack Obama at the US Capitol on January 21, 2013 in Washington, DC. The oath is to be administered by US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - APRIL 13: Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., speaks at a news conference at the House Triangle, held by Congressional Progressive Caucus to introduce 'The People's Budget,' which claims to create a surplus by 2021 by eliminating current wars and other weapons spending and raising taxes on the rich, among other methods. (Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call)
MEET THE PRESS -- Pictured: Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) left, and Mark McKinnon, Republican Strategist, right, appear on 'Meet the Press' in Washington, D.C., Sunday, Sept. 03, 2011. (Photo by William B. Plowman/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 29: Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., makes a statement to reporters in Longworth Building regarding the House ethics committee delaying of her trial. (Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call)
DETROIT - AUGUST 28: (L-R) Rev. Jesse Jackson, Jr., unidentified woman, United Auto Workers's president Bok King, and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) participate in a 'Rebuild America-Jobs, Justice and Peace' march in the downtown area August 28, 2010 in Detroit, Michigan. The march commemorates the historic 'Walk to Freedom' led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Detroit on the same date in 1963. Among the thousands of participants in the peaceful march in support of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition and UAW include labor and civic leaders such as United Auto Workers' president Bob King and Rev. Jesse Jackson, Jr. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)
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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 we don't hear enough about that. The press does not bear down on him on these issues."

Cooper laughed 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," he said.

Not one to back down, Anderson 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."

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