‘Shameful’ And A ‘Disaster’: CNN Blasted After Lie-Filled Trump Town Hall

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Democrats and media watchers blasted CNN Wednesday night over the network’s combative, lie-filled town hall with former President Donald Trump.

Moderator Kaitlan Collins attempted to rein in Trump as he stood by his denial of the results from the 2020 presidential election, rejected the lawsuit that found him liable for sexual abuse and defamation against the writer E. Jean Carroll, and defended his decision to take classified documents to Florida after his presidency.

But Collins struggled to fact-check the former president in real-time, and many sharply criticized CNN for putting Trump on-air at all. At one point, Trump called Collins a “nasty person” as she tried to get an answer to a question.

“Tonight’s disaster must be a lesson that every other news organization on earth must learn: DO NOT NORMALIZE DONALD TRUMP,” the Lincoln Project, a Republican group opposing Trump, said in a statement. “CNN gave Trump 90 minutes of uninterrupted air time to rewrite history and reset his own narrative.”

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D) said the decision to platform Trump was “shameful” after his appearance, saying his comments Wednesday reflected the difficulty people have coming forward with allegations of sexual assault. Trump mocked Carroll as a “whack job” Wednesday as a friendly audience laughed and applauded him.

“I think it was a profoundly irresponsible decision,” Ocasio-Cortez said on MSNBC. “What we saw tonight was a series of extremely irresponsible decisions that put a sexual abuse victim at risk...in front of a national audience, and I could not have disagreed with it more.”

Michael Fanone, the former Washington, D.C., police officer who was assaulted on Jan. 6, 2021, told HuffPost he was aghast after the town hall.

“It’s worse than I could have ever imagined. It’s an absolute disaster,” Fanone said. “There’s no way to fact-check this guy in real time. He’s a volcano of bullshit.”

New York Times reporter Jonathan Swan reported Wednesday night Trump’s advisers were “thrilled” with his appearance at the town hall.

“They can’t believe he is getting an hour on CNN with an audience that cheers his every line and laughs at his every joke,” he said.