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CNN Releases Statement Defending Kaitlan Collins Following Wednesday Town Hall

'She Asked Tough, Fair ... Revealing Questions ... And Fact Checked President Trump In Real Time'

Following Wednesday’s Town Hall in New Hampshire with former president Donald Trump, CNN released a statement defending host Kaitlan Collins.

Collins was criticized by some viewers as appearing to debate the former president rather than fielding questions and holding conversation per typical Town Hall etiquette.

“Tonight Kaitlan Collins exemplified what it means to be a world-class journalist,” the network said, according to Puck News senior correspondent Dylan Byers.

“She asked tough, fair and revealing questions. And she followed up and fact-checked President Trump in real time to arm voters with crucial information about his positions as he enters the 2024 election as the Republican frontrunner,” the statement continued. “That is CNN’s role and responsibility: to get answers and hold the powerful to account.”

New York representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez criticized CNN’s decision to platform the former president, referring to their move as “dangerous.”

“They have lost total control of this ‘town hall’ to again be manipulated into platforming election disinformation, defenses of Jan 6th, and a public attack on a sexual abuse victim,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote during the Town Hall, saying the blame “falls squarely on CNN.”

“The audience is cheering him on and laughing at the host,” she continued. “This was a choice to platform lies about the election & Jan 6th with no plan but to have their moderator interrupted without consequence.”

One viewer jokingly said they “enjoyed the debate” between the former president and Collins.

“Sad thing is, it wasn’t a debate. IT WAS A GAWDDAMN TOWN HALL,” the user continued.

CNN’s Wednesday Town Hall was reportedly scheduled as a 90-minute event, though was expected to run at least 75 minutes, per Byers, noting the broadcast was stopped at 70 minutes.

“In other words, they could have gone longer if they wanted—which is usually what executives do with big ratings draws,” Byers said.

Collins’ Town Hall performance follows a Wednesday report suggesting CEO Chris Licht would be appointing the CNN host to former host Chris Cuomo’s 9 p.m. time slot, per Puck News.

In a video posted to Truth Social the former president commented on CNN’s request to host Trump, suggesting the network was looking to boost their ratings.

“They are rightfully desperate to get those fantastic (TRUMP!) ratings once again,” Trump wrote on social media. “They made me a deal I couldn’t refuse!!! Could be the beginning of a New & Vibrant CNN, with no more Fake News, or it could turn into a disaster for all, including me. Let’s see what happens? Wednesday Night at 8:00!!!”

Last night’s Town Hall was the first time Trump has allowed CNN to interview him since 2016.

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