Donald Trump’s CNN town hall was grossly irresponsible & downright despicable

On Tuesday, a New York jury unanimously found Donald Trump liable for sexual abuse and defamation of E. Jean Carroll, the woman he raped in a Bergdorf dressing room and then smeared from the White House. On Wednesday, CNN went ahead with their “town hall” event with Donald Trump. CNN did not cancel their event with a twice-impeached serial sexual predator and unrepentant white supremacist. Full disclosure: I did not watch it and I want to pretend that none of this is happening, that Trump is a political nonentity, but I get that it’s very likely that Trump gets the Republican nomination again. So here we are. Some lowlights from CNN’s platforming of a racist predator insurrectionist.

On the 2020 election & January 6th insurrection: “I think that, when you look at that result and when you look at what happened during that election, unless you’re a very stupid person, you see what happens,” Mr. Trump said, calling the election he lost “rigged.” Mr. Trump later said he was “inclined” to pardon “many” of the rioters arrested on Jan. 6, 2021, after the attack on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob during certification of President Biden’s Electoral College win. His avoidance of an unequivocal promise pleased people close to him. He also came armed with a list of his own Twitter posts and statements from that day — an idea that was his, a person familiar with the planning said. He lied about his inaction that day as Ms. Collins pressed him about what he was doing during the hours of violence. And he said he did not owe Vice President Mike Pence, whose life was threatened by the mob, an apology. “A beautiful day,” he said of Jan. 6.

On abortion: Before the town hall, his team spent considerable time honing his answer to a question they knew he would be asked: Would he support a federal ban, and at how many weeks? His repeated dodges and euphemisms were hard to miss on Wednesday. “Getting rid of Roe v. Wade was an incredible thing for pro-life,” he began. That was about as specific as he would get. He said he was “honored to have done what I did” — a line Democrats had quickly flagged as potential fodder for future ads — and that it was a “great victory.”

On E. Jean Carroll: Mr Trump was asked directly about Tuesday’s verdict in the E Jean Carroll civil case, when he was ordered to pay about $5m (£4m) in damages for sexual abuse and defamation. He repeatedly denied having any contact with the writer despite a photo emerging of them together. “I don’t know her. I never met her. I had no idea who she is,” he said. The audience in New Hampshire then laughed as he he mocked Ms Carroll’s claim and called it “fake news”.

On Russia’s war in Ukraine: “I don’t think of winning or losing, I think in terms of getting it settled,” he said. “I want everybody to stop dying.” He added that he thought Russian President Vladimir Putin made a mistake in invading Ukraine but, when asked, would not label him a war criminal.

[From The NY Times & BBC]

There was obviously a lot more, like Trump calling the moderator a “nasty person” and the new Hampshire audience laughing constantly at Trump’s unhinged “greatest hits.” President Biden’s team watched the town hall and they cut an ad and put it online quickly, and the people running Biden’s social media accounts were on top of what was happening. It actually does feel like we’re going to get a repeat of the 2020 election, Biden v. Trump.

Photos courtesy of Cover Images.

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59 Responses to “Donald Trump’s CNN town hall was grossly irresponsible & downright despicable”

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  1. mia girl says:

    After last night, not even Anderson Cooper can get me to watch CNN now.

    • Erin says:

      Same, they aren’t even trying to pretend anymore. They are following the money to the hard right just like fox and don’t care that they will help destroy the country and peoples lives in the process.

    • StellainNH says:

      That audience did not represent New Hampshire.

      • Arizona says:

        I agree, this doesn’t represent New Hampshire. I live in New Hampshire and even the people I know that voted for Trump previously don’t want him to run or win because they think he’s toxic. I’m disappointed by these chucklefucks.

      • Lens says:

        They let him do a televised trump rally with bussing in his MAGA audience, no fact checking, no push back AT ALL. CNN has jumped the shark

      • Concern Fae says:

        CNN specifically allowed only Republican and undeclared voters, at the Trump campaign’s demand. That made it not an actual “Town Hall,” which is supposed to be a representative mix.

        As a Masshole, I have to say it was perfectly representative of rightwing and MAGA New Hampshire.

      • Kitten says:

        So surprised that this was in NH. It’s a great state with a lot of awesome people–this audience does not accurately reflect that.

        @ConcernFae–I live in Mass too and yes, there are definitely some terrible MAGA folks in our state and New England but NH did go 53% to 45% Biden….

    • Truthiness says:

      Same. I like Anderson Cooper but hope he defects somewhere else.

    • Whyforthelove says:

      Amen. See ya Anderson but CNN is a no go for me

    • Blue Nails Betty says:

      Two things:

      1. CNN desperately wants trump back in office because he generates a shit ton of news for them. It’s all a grift.

      2. It would not surprise me at all if they hired Tucker Carlson to headline a show. You know, just to be “fair” and “balanced”.

      CNN completely outed themself last night. They are on the side of fascism and the Republican party. Period.

    • Lizzie says:

      Cheeto’s mike should have been cut off after about 5 minutes and they should have cut to the round table from them on. It was disgraceful. I too am done with CNN.

    • Christine says:

      I will be boycotting CNN as well.

  2. ThatsNotOkay says:

    Despicable. Don’t sleep on Trump, DeSantis, or any other nutjob on the right wing plotting to seize office. Too much is at stake. AGAIN.

    • AnnaKist says:

      I’m not even American, andfeel the same way Trump is a maniac; a toxic dangerous piece of garbage.

      • Lara (The Other) says:

        Not an American either, but afraid of a trump win. The consequences for Europe if he pulls support for Ukraine would be desastrous.
        It would also strengthen the rght wingers all over the world.
        Another trump win would be a danger to democracy in the whole world.

  3. Brassy Rebel says:

    As long as the mainstream media continues to normalize fascism by pretending that today’s Republican party is a political party and not a criminal organization, this is what we’re going to get. Trump is a fascist, and the media is enabling him and his followers which includes all of the current leadership of the Republican party.

    And CNN bringing in fascist cheerleaders made it all even worse.

    • Mtl.ex.pat says:

      @brassyrebel – exactly this. CNN’s “both sides-ing” and “whataboutism” and normalizing the unconscionable is a disgrace

      • Brassy Rebel says:

        On a more positive note, CNN is being dragged for filth this morning on all the most prominent social media platforms. They seem to have sparked a backlash.

  4. Southern Fried says:

    CNN got exactly what they wanted. The moderator is a nasty person. It was the shitshow we all predicted and the magats and network are making bank. Makes me want to vomit but I won’t stop working to get Dems elected.

  5. Miranda says:

    Tens of millions of people WILL vote for him again. Happily and proudly. Hopefully, it will not be enough for him to win, but we will still be stuck with an alarmingly huge chunk of the country that is just fine with fascism, white supremacy, misogyny, delusion, and what is almost certainly serial rape.

    That is fucking terrifying. We need to vote like our lives depend on it, because for women, BIPOC, and queer people, it kinda does.

    • LarkspurLM says:

      VOTE VOTE VOTE blue! Vote for Joe! Vote for your local blue candidates. Vote like our/your life depends on it, because it does and “they” have shown us what “they” will do if “they” win. Do not give them oxygen….VOTE!

  6. Laugh Lines says:

    Everything about that show was hard to watch and maybe that was the point. I know lots of people are piling on CNN for giving him airtime and there is a lot of validity in those points. There’s also something to be said for showing, not just telling. We say we all know how awful these people are and they shouldn’t be given more platforms to spew their garbage, but honestly that’s like saying “yah, I know there’s a problem with my house’s foundation, but I don’t want to dig it up and expose it”. Great way to end up losing your home. Some people (believe it or not) are still undecided about exactly how freaking irredeemable this wasted skinbag and his followers really are or how hard the fight has to be to truly eradicate them,and seeing a demonstration like this might just be the motivation needed to engage them.

    • Torttu says:

      I agree somewhat with the “give them enough rope…” tactic but this all should have happened without the cheering audience.
      I really don’t understand how CNN thought this was a great idea.

    • Louisa says:

      Laugh Lines while agree with your bigger point about exposing something disagreeable, but I’m sorry I have to disagree that there are still people out there who don’t know exactly who Donald Trump is at this point. Unless they’ve been living off the grid for the past 7 – 8years they know what they’re getting.

  7. Smegmoria says:

    She didn’t push back when he said dems want to kill babies that have already been born. He gave her three different opportunities to do so.

  8. Giddy says:

    I watched about 20 minutes of it and that was all I could stand. His lies, narcissism, and self- aggrandizement are repulsive. I will lose friends this election because I don’t see how anyone who listens to him can ever vote for him.

  9. og bella says:

    The only thing that I can think of positively is that, perhaps, it will energize the center to left wing rock the vote and not be complacent

  10. Slush says:

    F*ck CNN into the ground for this. I won’t be watching or reading it anytime soon.

  11. Truthiness says:

    When asked if he shared sensitive classified documents, he said every word EXCEPT no. He used “not necessarily, I had the right to, by the way I declassified them” and “I don’t think so.”

    Which means he totally showed people sensitive private documents.

  12. Grace says:

    He is a despicable person on EVERY level and his supporters (the uneducated and uninformed, brainwashed) too. CNN …NOPE. NEVER again. Out!

    • Andrea says:

      Had my friend’s 30 something husband tell me he liked Trump until covid. He has had 2 double lung transplants. But it is all about taxes and saving and I guess he was able, like alot of people, to look past everything else. Americans I have realized are selfish creatures and if they can save on taxes even minutely, they will at the cost of people’s rights.

      • Erin says:

        It’s the egotistical individualism of Americans that has gotten American society to this point and unless you are the CEO of a huge corporation or Jeff Bezos you aren’t saving on taxes and are actively voting against your best interests because republicans have and will continue to do what Wall Street and corporations tell them to do. They will cut taxes on the rich, preach about trickle down economics that has been proven over and over to not work, they will cut every social safety net program in the name of tightening the budget like they are trying to right now without a thought of touching the billions that go toward the military because we need another billion dollar bomber (the debt ceiling/limit is self imposed by the way, it’s not real), bust unions therefor chipping away at workers rights, and encourage corporate consolidation in every sector. We are headed into fascism with our eyes wide open because some people believe that they are saving a few dollars in taxes.

  13. mellie says:

    I wanted to watch this to see how Kaitlan Collins handled herself…..after listening to the reports today, I’m so thankful that I did not. It sounds like a disaster that would have made my blood boil and my BP go through the roof. He is such a lying POS.

  14. Nicegirl says:

    I’m disgusted by CNN

  15. GDubslady says:

    Funny how CNN threw Trump a lifeline when it became apparent that Trump was loosing the sexual battery case E Jean Carroll brought against him.. In 2015/2016 it was the media giants, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS and MSN who gave Trump continuous incessant daily coverage for free turning his clown act into the GOP nominee. He never got over the majority of GOP delegates in 2016. He only became president bc someone played with the numbers using the same win ratio in a few swing counties. Even now the media is calling him the front runner. Vanguard and Blackrock own these companies. Last night, CNN created a false illusion of Trump support with an adoring crowd and softball questions during a fake town hall. His base is loud but shallow and dying out. His greatest hits are a broken record that no longer appeals. The largest shareholders of Vanguard want Trump’s destabilizing statements especially about the debt ceiling. We need to shine light these hedge fund owners and their ability to control. These funds are way overleveraged and in peril. They want to reset so they can continue to pull the strings but that might not be possible. Their ability to control the future is a problem. Vanguard wants to crash the economy with Trump as their chaos agent while they still have some power.

  16. Kitten says:

    I never liked CNN because they are too centrist/moderate for my taste but ever since John Malone bought the network it has become more and more conservative. I recommend Democracy Now for a great news source.

    • Paulkid says:

      I have been watching Democracy Now since the CNN Town Hall was announced, it is excellent reporting! At a previous Correspondents Dinner, Michelle Wolfe finished her roast by reminding the media that they made Trump a political star. It was brave to point out the need for journalistic responsibility with such a dangerous person. CNN tried to elevate Trump’s political profile for ratings when they knew better. I am done with their network and figure I can get my Anderson Cooper fix by watching 60 Minutes. SHAME on Chris Licht!

  17. Sean says:

    I read an app interesting article that broke down CNN’s descent into emboldening right-wing talking points.

    According to the article, Gen Z, Millennials, Xennials and younger Gen Xers are considered “cord cutters” forgoing cable in favor of streaming services. Older Gen Xers, Boomers and the few members of the Silent Generation that are left are basically the only ones still paying for cable services.

    This has left the major news networks that still heavily rely on cable subscribers to fight over an aging and dwindling viewer base. Fox took the right and MSNBC took the left, leaving CNN in the middle.

    During the 2016 election, CNN saw spikes in their viewership when they featured Trump, Republicans or just right-wing talking points period. So, they’re tapping into that demographic.

    It’ll really be interesting to what happens in the next few years as their audience continues to shrink as boomers die off (I read 2-4 million boomers pass away each year). While it’s normally true that people become more conservative as they grow older, I don’t see most Gen Xers and younger ever accepting the current flavor of conservativism as we age. I Gen Z sure as heck is fed up with their shenanigans.

  18. AmyB says:

    I don’t watch a ton of CNN, I prefer my news sources to be more independent media, but I sure as HELL am not watching anymore. The CNN Town Hall reminded me of what Jake Tapper said after the first 2020 Presidential debate with Trump and Biden – “That was a hot mess, inside a dumpster fire, inside a trainwreck!”

    The format of having Republican Trump supporters mostly there to cheer him on, and laugh at his grotesque and pathological lies, was indefensible. Hell, he gave E. Jean Carroll more ammunition to sue his pathetic ass again for defamation; and hearing the audience laugh at those comments was stomach-turning. Yeah, sexual abuse is always so fucking funny 🙄

    The only person that comes to mind that could possibly take on Trump in this kind of format would be Jon Stewart – I would enjoy Stewart ripping him apart, but then again, Trump’s modus operandi is to dominate the conversation, bully/talk over everyone else and lie with every word that comes out of his disgusting mouth.

    Shame on CNN!!!

  19. trillion says:

    Contributed to AOC and the Biden/Harris campaign this morning. Let’s favor the bold and the brave, people!

  20. Blueberry 🫐 says:

    Just deleted my cnn app. Done.

  21. CC says:

    The CNN website does have a feedback page where you can complain about the editorial choices they make. Probably doesn’t have much effect, but it could help you feel better to express your disgust directly.

  22. AnneL says:

    When I saw the ad for the event, I practically screamed at my TV screen. I cannot BELIEVE they are giving the dangerous jackass air time…..again. But what else do I expect from these people? It’s all about money, money, money.

    I really do hope Anderson leaves the network. I like him and my mother loves him. But I won’t let her watch CNN next time she visits, which is what she always wants to watch. They are not getting viewing numbers from my home. No f**king way.

  23. Jaded says:

    No wonder CNN chose Caitlyn Collins to do the TH — she’s a lightweight Rethuglican a$$-kisser in a tight white suit and fresh blow-out, Journalist Barbie. I will give CNN some feedback FWIW and even though I’m Canadian I feel strongly that all of us must speak up against this utterly partisan BS. What’s next? Hiring Tucker Carlson? I highly recommend Meidastouch podcasts and YouTube/Instagram coverage, the only honest, independent news source on this kind of stuff I’ve read in a lonnnngggg time.

  24. AC says:

    Didn’t watch it last night, not interested in what this laughing stock of an ex-president has to say . IMO, the new CNN owners are closeted MAGAs . Even Michael Fanone one of the Jan 6 police officers that was attacked, heavily criticized CNN for having this town hall.

    • Truthiness says:

      Michael Fanone’s story is soooo compelling! An undercover cop who voted for Trump who very nearly lost his life while being tortured by the Jan 6 mob. Last I knew he was still fighting ptsd over it. There’s a very touching picture of Nancy Pelosi (a Jan 6 target herself) hugging him close on a day where police were honored that says everything about Democrat values. It’s ok that you were a Republican, we’ll stand up and honor your bravery and rights.

    • Jayna says:

      Actually, Kaitlan was superb during Trump’s presidency. She was CNN’s Whitehouse correspondent, and she could be very fierce. She was barred by Trump’s people at times for asking questions they didn’t like and pressing on. She pissed Trump off with a question once and he walked off the stage. His administration tried moving her from the front to the back of the briefing room and she refused. She stood her ground always and was a thorn in Trump’s and his administration’s sides. And she looked so young, but when CNN would bring her on Anderson Cooper’s show, she was quick, extremely intelligent, and very knowledgeable.

      I did not watch this Town Hall aka Trump Rally because I refuse to give air to this traitor. Chris Licht should be ashamed of himself for this. Even if they decided to interview Trump, to agree to a 400-person cheerleading audience, who don’t care about the truth, was reprehensible, not journalistic, and set Kaitlan up for failure since it was live. From what I’ve read, it was Trump doing what Trump does for 70 minutes, not answering the question, deflecting, lying, and playing to his fans in the audience. Chris Licht did this to revive the ratings, not for journalistic integrity.

      I did see a clip of the panel on CNN discussing it immediately afterward. Anderson Cooper, Jack Tapper, John King, and all of the panel looked so grim. I’m sure they were disgusted their network did this. Of course, there may have been a few Republicans on that panel, but I have no idea if they were happy. I only watched the first minute. From what I’ve read, most CNN employees are disgusted. It’s a new low, and there’s been so many, in the Chris Licht revamping of CNN since he took over.

    • Jayna says:

      Sorry. My post above was replying to someone else. I posted it in the wrong spot.

  25. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I loved Steve Schmidt’s takedown. He’s hysterical in his buttoned up seriousness lol. This is a circus.

  26. Imara219 says:

    This is gross, and I cannot believe we are stating that this is the best for Republicans or Democrats– this all seems like a sick joke. I was really hoping the Democratic party spent the past four years re-shaping and thinking of ways to energize their base and find a sharper, stronger, and better candidate. This is all just surreal. I don’t want a retread of 2020.

  27. Nokitty! says:

    Well, the CNN Trump Lovefest combined with Biden’s sharp social media director got me to donate to his campaign earlier than I planned to. I do not want another four years of Trump and I would be willing to empty out my purse to see that it doesn’t happen again.

    • DaisyMay says:

      I didn’t watch it. I don’t get CNN. I couldn’t bear to read the comments. Just weighing in that he is without a doubt one of the worst people ever to live on this planet.

  28. HeyKay says:

    Trump is a criminal.
    If he wants to spout his opinions, I say he can do it on his own platforms.

    Attention seeking criminal. Organized and committed Treason along with his Proud Boys Jan. 6.
    No one should be giving this man air time or any attention to continue this farce. His followers are dangerous, unreasonable and enjoy diving this country by hate.

  29. Rise & Shine says:

    The sickening CNN debacle last night was one of the most sickening things I have ever witnessed in my life. Honestly. What is going on? Help us all.

  30. Duchess of Corolla says:

    I have been done with CNN for some time. This just guarantees that I will never return. This loathsome piece of crap deserves no public platform. He should be in prison rotting. End of story.

  31. bisynaptic says:

    I hope E. Jean Carroll sues them all.

  32. Rita says:

    It was amazing!! He was like a wreckingball clearing the BS coming out of Kaitlan Collins’ mouth.
    Bravo DJT!