Tuesday morning started out like a lot of other mornings in American politics with #Donald Trump ranting on #Twitter. The president-elect decided to direct his anger at people who burn the American flag, and it quickly became a hot topic on cable news.
As the clock was set to turn to 7:00 a.m. local time in New York City, Donald Trump went to his Twitter account and called for people who burn the American flag to face "consequences," suggesting, "loss of citizenship or year in jail!" Minutes after the tweet was sent, Trump was quickly criticized by the media and constitutional scholars who note that flag burning is protected under the First Amendment as freedom of speech. Supporters of the billionaire real estate mogul continue to defend him, as punishing flag burners is an issue that some on the political right promote. As seen on various #CNN broadcasts on November 29, the issue was a hot topic of discussion.
— CNN (@CNN) November 30, 2016
CNN host Anderson Cooper didn't let Donald Trump slide on Wednesday night, taking him to task over his flag burning tweet. Cooper appeared stunned, stating that the former host of "The Apprentice" has "gone against two parts of the constitution" all in the span of one Twitter rant. Not stopping there, Cooper stated that the country was in "uncharted waters with a president-elect who is continuing to tweet just as he did...during the campaign." At this point, Cooper described what he was thinking when he first heard about Trump's tweet, explaining, "I kept thinking doesn't he have a briefing book on ISIS to be reading last night?"
Cooper wasn't the only CNN host that took a shot at the president-elect. Host Jake Tapper didn't focus on the flag burning tweet, but rather Trump's claim of voter fraud at the hands of illegal immigrants that allegedly cost him the popular vote. As explained by Tapper, "Not one credible official or news organization has suggested the president-elect's conspiracy theory of millions of fraudulent votes has any merit."
On Monday night, Donald Trump went on a re-tweeting rampage, attacking CNN reporter Jeff Zeleny for first debunking his voting fraud claims. However, since the comments made by Cooper and Tapper on Tuesday Night, Trump has been uncharacteristically silent, with no apparent evidence to back up his voter fraud claims, or respond to the criticism of his flag burning comment.