(CNN)Anderson Cooper responded to an attack on CNN and other journalists from White House senior aide Sebastian Gorka Wednesday, telling the outspoken adviser to President Donald Trump that his insults were not worth responding to since they did not contribute to the dialogue.
Anderson Cooper to White House official: 'I'm just going to ignore the insults'
After the deputy assistant to President Trump called Cooper's opening question "laughable," the CNN anchor replied: "I'm just going to ignore the insults because I don't think it really gets us anywhere."
When asked about reports of a "bunker mode" in the White House after reports emerged about Donald Trump Jr.'s June 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer, Gorka said, "It's just fake news," repeating a theme commonly employed by the President, his staff and supporters.
"I'm sad to see CNN fall to this," he said. "I know you want salacious, sensationalist coverage for your ratings so your corporate sponsors and owners have more money but that's not media. That's not reportage. It's just fake news."
"Your chyron talked about a crisis," Gorka said. "Your reporter talked about a bunker mentality. I actually work in the West Wing. I work in the White House. It is absolutely nothing of the kind."
Gorka used similar language in defending Donald Trump Jr. He praised Trump Jr. for releasing emails concerning a meeting with a Russian lawyer he had last June after being promised incriminating "official documents and information" on Hillary Clinton. Cooper said Trump Jr. "smartly" tweeted out the emails to get ahead of a New York Times story on the same topic.
Later in the interview, Gorka also quoted what he said were recent cable TV ratings, eliciting surprise from Cooper.
"I think its funny you have enough time in the White House ... (that) you are able to sit around and read Nielsen numbers," Cooper said.
Gorka responded that the press team in the Trump White House was "superb" and had prepped him for his CNN appearance.