CNN anchor Anderson Cooper slammed President Trump for reportedly referring to Haiti and several African nations as "shithole countries" on Thursday, calling the remarks "racist."
In a monologue delivered on "Anderson Cooper 360," the CNN host said it was important for members of the news media to point out that Trump's remarks were not "racially charged" or offensive, but rather "racist."
"The president of the United States is tired of so many black people coming to this country. Tired of immigrants from Haiti and Africa being allowed in," Cooper said, reading comments from Trump as reported by The Washington Post.
"Tired of Haitians and Africans, the president went on to say he would like to bring more people from countries like Norway. Norway, whose population is overwhelmingly of Nordic descent. White people, in other words," Cooper said.
"James Baldwin ... once said that 'ignorance allied with power is the most ferocious enemy justice can have,' " he continued. "Ignorance allied with power. For the president to believe that Haitians have not contributed extraordinary things to American society, that is ignorant. For him to claim that all the countries of Africa are 'shitholes' is woefully ignorant."
"But as disturbing as you may think these sentiments are, these comments by the president, they are actually not anything new," Cooper went on, referencing a recent New York Times report in which Trump was quoted accusing Haitian immigrants of all having AIDS, and remarking that Nigerian immigrants would never "go back to their huts" upon seeing America.
"Perhaps the White House feels the president's remarks will be well received in some parts of this country, among some parts of the president's base. But it doesn't make what he said any less ignorant or any less racist," Cooper added. "Not racial. Not racially charged. Racist."
"Let's not kid ourselves. Let's not pretend our dance around it," he said. "The sentiment the president expressed today is a racist sentiment."
Cooper's criticism comes amid rebukes from various lawmakers from both parties, who called on the White House to issue an explanation for the president's remarks after they were reported.
Many Democrats went further, calling the remarks racist and attacking Republicans for not doing the same.
The White House issued a statement on Thursday in response to the Post story and did not deny Trump's use of the term, which was reported by other media outlets, as well.
“Certain Washington politicians choose to fight for foreign countries, but President Trump will always fight for the American people,” White House spokesman Raj Shah said.