CNN's Anderson Cooper Says Trump Is Too Busy Golfing and Tweeting Critics to Follow Hurricane Dorian: 'He's Monitoring the Debra Messing Situation'

CNN host Anderson Cooper has criticized President Donald Trump for a lack of leadership while Hurricane Dorian bears down on the east coast, suggesting the commander in chief is more worried about personal spats than the storm that has prompted evacuation orders and storm surge warnings.

Speaking on CNN on Monday, Cooper told viewers that at least five people have been reported killed by Dorian as it passed over the Bahamas on Sunday, destroying homes and flooding parts of the Abaco Islands in the northwest of the archipelago.

The president canceled a visit to Poland to stay in the U.S. and lead the response to the looming disaster, but was soon spotted playing golf at a Trump-branded course in Virginia on Saturday. The president returned to the same course on Monday, even as officials braced for the storm's approach.

Cooper noted this was "the 227th time he's been at one of his own golf clubs as president." The anchor added that when the president was not golfing, he was "attacking political foes on Twitter."

The president has recently been engaged in spats with New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations President Richard Trumka and even actress Debra Messing, among others.

Trump previously attacked President Barack Obama for golfing while in office, arguing he should have instead been focusing on government work. When he took office, Trump also said he would be too busy to go golfing, though this has proved false.

"It would be one thing if he had not gone after the former president about golfing and said that he would never go golfing because he would be too busy and doing too important work and winning so much," Cooper said.

"I mean, it's not us nitpicking, it's using his own criteria for judging presidents. And by his own criteria, he sure is golfing a lot," Cooper added.

"He also made very confusing comments yesterday saying that this is not ...the first category five hurricane to threaten the U.S. since he took office. And yet, he seemed to indicate that he had never heard of a…of a Category 5 hurricane."

Pamela Brown, CNN's senior White House correspondent, then noted there have been four Category 5 hurricanes since Trump took office, though not all made landfall. "If any president should have intimate knowledge of a Category 5 hurricane it should be President Trump," Brown suggested.

And while all this was going on, Cooper noted, the president was also "tweeting after Debra Messing the actress about comments she had allegedly once made to him about how grateful she was for The Apprentice."

Brown said the president has "been going after many other targets, after other issues outside of the core issue right now which is Hurricane Dorian. And remember, he canceled his trip to Poland—this important trip to Poland over the weekend—so that he could stay in the United States and monitor the hurricane and get those updates. But he clearly has other things on his mind."

"He's monitoring the Debra Messing situation," Cooper quipped. "It's incredible."

Cooper's CNN colleague Don Lemon also voiced his displeasure at the president's leadership—or lack thereof—as the hurricane approaches.

Lemon mocked Trump's suggestion that he had never heard of a Category 5 storm. "There have been four such storms since this president took office, and he sure heard about those," Lemon said, before playing past clips of the president discussing Category 5 hurricanes.

Anderson Cooper, Donald Trump, Hurricane Dorian
In this NOAA GOES-East satellite handout image, Hurricane Dorian moves slowly past Grand Bahama Island on September 2, 2019 in the Atlantic Ocean. NOAA via Getty Images/Getty