‘CNN went in the tank’ to get Trump to agree on town hall, Christie says

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Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) took aim at CNN on Sunday, saying that the network “was wrong” for cutting a deal with former President Trump to agree to what turned out to be a raucous town hall and that it “went in the tank” to get the GOP frontrunner on board.

CNN has faced a slew of criticism for the town hall, including allowing a Trump-friendly audience who didn’t ask any tough questions of the former president and laughed at answers he gave, including one in which he disparaged author E. Jean Carroll, who has accused him of rape, lamenting that his poll numbers went up after he was found liable of sexual battery against her.

“As to the audience reaction, let’s face it, CNN went in the tank to get Trump on there,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.” “They allowed him to negotiate who was going to be in that audience, and those were all Trump supporters, I don’t care how they introduced them.”

“You pay no attention to audience reaction,” he continued. “Those were all people who in the main 80 percent or so were Trump supporters. So, that was a negotiation deal that Trump did with CNN and I think CNN was wrong for doing it.”

Christie added that he recognized some faces in the crowd as Trump supporters based on time he spent in New Hampshire where the town hall took place.

More than 3 million people tuned in to the town hall, but CNN has faced a wave of criticism in the wake of the the event. Some of CNN’s own talent also criticized the decision to give Trump a large platform in the town hall format, which made it difficult to fact check his responses.

Still, moderator Kaitlan Collins stopped Trump several times, including when he continued to falsely suggest the 2020 election was rigged and that he tried to call off his supporters storming the Capitol on Jan. 6 much sooner that day than he actually did.

Christie has been a staunch critic of Trump over the past couple of years as the former governor mulls a potential bid for the White House. He said in an interview last month that he is “the viable Trump alternative,” and has reiterated that Republicans will not win if Trump is the candidate.

But Christie as of Sunday refused to answer if he will officially enter the race.

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