CNN's Anderson Cooper tried to explain the network's decision to give Trump a virtually unfettered platform, but detoured into blaming people for being angry about their decision.
Trump's CNN town hall didn't deliver big ratings, but it did potentially get him a new defamation suit from E. Jean Carroll.
CNN's attempt to defend hosting a town hall for the former president was undercut when a source close to the Trump campaign thanked the network for the campaign contribution.
For the first time in decades, Democrats are making gains in areas that have some of Trump’s most reliable voters.
CNN host Anderson Cooper on Thursday apologized to the network's audience for its own town hall event with former President Donald Trump last night and told viewers they have "every right to be outraged." Cooper never once referred to Trump by name, instead choosing to call him "that man." "You have every right to be outraged today and angry and never watch this network again," Cooper said. "But do you think staying in your silo and only listening to people you agree with is going to make that person go away? If we all only listen to those we agree with, it may actually do the opposite. If lies are allowed to go unchecked as imperfect as our ability to check them is on a stage in real time, those lies continue, and those lies spread. If you're angry or upset, I understand, but you have the power to do something about it. You can actually get involved. You can make a difference, whatever side of the aisle you're on. After last night, none of us can say I didn't know what's out there. I didn't know what's coming. We asked Republican Senators for their thoughts about last night. Some preferred not to say anything. Others did." Full monologue: ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST: Before we begin with tonight's broadcast, I want to say something about what we witnessed at last night's town hall. Many of you have expressed deep anger and disappointment. Many of you are upset that someone who attempted to destroy our democracy was invited to sit on a stage in front of a crowd of Republican voters to answer questions, and predictably, continued to spew lie after lie after lie. And I get it. It was disturbing. It was disturbing to see and hear that person refer to a black law enforcement officer as a thug, an adjective he used many times to describe black men and called Kaitlan Collins, the moderator, nasty which is what he calls any woman who stands up to him. It was disturbing to hear him speak so highly of QAnon conspirators and insurrectionists who assaulted police officers and democracy on January 6th. And it was awful to hear him spread ridiculous lies about the election. And it was especially disturbing to hear that audience, young and old, our fellow citizens, people who love their kids and go to church, laugh and applaud his lies and his continued defamation of a woman who according to a jury of his peers he sexually abused and defamed. As good a job as Kaitlan Collins did trying to fact-check him, it is impossible to fact-check fully because he lies so shamelessly. Now many of you think CNN shouldn't have given him any platform to speak. And I understand the anger about that, giving him the audience, the time. I get that. But this is what also get. The man you were so disturbed to hear from last night, that man is the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for president. And according to polling, no other Republican is even close. That man you were so upset to hear from last night, he may be president of the United States in less than two years. And that audience that upset you, that's a sampling of about half the country. They are your family member, your neighbors, and they are voting. And many said they're voting for him. Now maybe you haven't been paying attention to him since he left office. Maybe you've been enjoying not hearing from him thinking it can't happen again. Some investigation is going to stop him. Well, it hasn't so far. So if last night showed anything, it showed it can happen again. It is happening again. He hasn't changed, and he is running hard. You have every right to be outraged today and angry and never watch this network again. But do you think staying in your silo and only listening to people you agree with is going to make that person go away? If we all only listen to those we agree with, it may actually do the opposite. If lies are allowed to go unchecked as imperfect as our ability to check them is on a stage in real time, those lies continue, and those lies spread. If you're angry or upset, I understand, but you have the power to do something about it. You can actually get involved. You can make a difference, whatever side of the aisle you're on. After last night, none of us can say I didn't know what's out there. I didn't know what's coming. We asked Republican Senators for their thoughts about last night. Some preferred not to say anything. Others did.
E. Jean Carroll has already won a defamation case against Donald Trump. After his “whack job” comments this week, a new lawsuit is “on the table.”
Former President Donald Trump pushed back on the heavy criticism CNN has faced for hosting Trump during a town hall event this week. The, at times, combative event with host Kaitlan Collins led to 3.31 million total viewers tuning in to the network, according to Nielsen ratings.
Former President Donald Trump, who castigated E. Jean Carroll at a CNN event, is appealing the ruling against him in her civil suit.
The former president made it clearer than ever this week that on issues including Ukraine, the economy and the rule of law, his return to office would lead to a sharp departure from core American values.
Former President Donald Trump defended an old enemy after his tour de force town hall event on CNN made waves.
Daniel Penny's attorneys have previously said that the 24-year-old Marine Corps veteran acted in self-defense.
Former President Donald Trump applauded the high ratings his town hall delivered for CNN, proclaiming "many minds were changed.”
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