“She and I have been friends for a long time, and I want nothing but good things for her,” Cooper said during a staging of his live show, “An Intimate Evening with Anderson Cooper & Andy Cohen: Deep Talks and Shallow Tales,” in Phoenix on Friday night, AZ Central reported.
“I wish her well, and I hope she bounces back and keeps doing what she does best, which is make people laugh,” he added later.
During an intense public backlash, Cooper said over Twitter that he was “appalled” by the imagery, which showed the comedian holding a prop styled as Trump’s bloodied head. Cooper added at the time, “It’s clearly disgusting and completely inappropriate.”
The comedian, who was quickly dropped by sponsors and venues for the stunt, said that she had been “hurt” by her former co-host’s comment during a press conference earlier this month. But Cooper defended his criticism Friday, stating, “I think when you’re friends with somebody you can say that.”
In front of reporters, Griffin expressed her belief that Trump and his family were “trying to ruin my life” in their response to her gruesome photos, while standing by her original apology, issued quickly after response to the images went south.
In Phoenix, Cooper clarified that he had “nothing to do” with the cable network’s decision to cut ties with the embattled comedian, but understands why it was made, he said, again noting that the photo shoot was “inappropriate.”
“People were assuming I was somehow responsible for this,” he said, referring to the images, “and I just felt I should point out that I actually think this is pretty important as somebody who works overseas. You know, journalists get beheaded, and this is not a joke.”