The former president spoke to reporters at Reagan National Airport on Thursday after pleading not guilty to four charges linked to the attempted coup on Jan. 6, 2021.
“This is a very sad day for America, and it was also very sad driving through Washington, D.C., and seeing the filth and the decay and all of the broken buildings and walls and the graffiti. This is not the place that I left. It’s a very sad thing to see it,” Trump said.
Trump also took to his Truth Social platform and wrote that the city was “FILTHY, DIRTY, FALLING APART, & VERY UNSAFE.”
Cooper chimed in, reminding viewers of D.C.’s condition as Trump left office.
“We should point out that when the former president left office and left Washington, D.C., the city was on lockdown because of the attack on Jan. 6,” Cooper said.
“That is the city he left behind.”
Officials beefed up security around the U.S. Capitol in measures that included road closures and “waist high” fencing around the complex on Thursday, according to D.C.’s Fox affiliate.
The Capitol riot spurred intense, unprecedented security measures in D.C. ahead of President Joe Biden’s inauguration as 25,000 members of the National Guard stayed in Washington, a 7-foot fence surrounded the Capitol and access to the National Mall was shuttered to the general public.
There were also over $2.7 million in damages caused by the Capitol riot, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia noted last year.
Several users on X (Twitter’s rebrand) noted that Trump’s route from the airport in Arlington, Virginia, to the courthouse in Washington included “none” of what he mentioned in his remarks on the city.