CNN’s Anderson Cooper gave Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi a brutal once-over during a live interview Tuesday afternoon, pressing Bondi about whether it was “hypocritical” for her to posture like an LGBT ally after years of fighting against equal rights for the gay community.
Cooper asked Bondi, who played a high-profile role defending Florida’s same-sex marriage ban, whether she could be a “champion of the gay community” after arguing in court that allowing LGBT people to marry would cause “public harm” to the people of the Sunshine State.
Bondi responded that she was just upholding the Florida state Constitution.
“I’ve never said I don’t like gay people,” she added.
Cooper continued to push Bondi about her battle to uphold the state ban, telling her that without same-sex marriage, partners of the victims in Sunday’s mass shooting at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando wouldn’t be able to legally get information about their loved ones in the hospital.
“Isn’t there a sick irony in that?” he asked.
Bondi again insisted she was just upholding voters’ will and eventually said, “You know what today is about? Human beings. Today’s about victims.”
“It’s about gay and lesbian victims,” Cooper fired back.
“It sure is, LGBT victims,” Bondi echoed. “Anderson, I’m not trying to portray myself as anything but trying to help people who have lost their lives and who have family members who aren’t getting the services they need.”
Cooper then pointed out that he’d never heard Bondi speak positively about the LGBT community until after the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history rocked her state. The CNN host also noted that while Bondi often tweeted about various dog-themed holidays, she’d never mentioned gay pride month.
“Well, actually, if you look at my website now, we have hands, clasped together, all different colored rainbow hands,” she tried.
“So you just put that up now,” Cooper replied.
“After the horrible tragedy, absolutely,” Bondi answered.
Asked if she would be a “vocal champion” for the LGBT community after the shooting, Bondi seemed to get flustered and responded, “My goodness, Anderson, we’ve had 49 people murdered, simply because they were in a bar at the wrong time.”
Watch a clip of the exchange, captured by TPM: