Trump Faces CNN Town Hall Wednesday After Sexual Abuse Case Verdict

Zinger Key Points
  • Trump will go live on CNN for the first time since 2016.
  • The former president is being interviewed only one day after being found liable for sexual abuse by a Manhattan jury.

Donald Trump is set to appear live in a CNN televised town hall on Wednesday.

The interview will be held just one day after the former president was found liable for battery and defamation for the sexual abuse of writer E. Jean Carroll, 30 years ago.

The GOP frontrunner for the 2024 election will be interviewed at 8 P.M. eastern time by Kaitlan Collins, who served as CNN's White House correspondent until 2022, where she clashed several times with Trump in the briefing room.

Bringing the stakes up a notch: A Trump appearance on CNN comes with high stakes for both sides of the equation.

For Trump, it means opening up to a mainstream media channel that's not owned by Rupert Murdoch for the first time since 2020. CNN has routinely been criticized by Trump, who has not appeared on the network since 2016.

"No, not CNN please," said Trump to Collins in a 2020 briefing on North Korean relations. "I told you, CNN is fake news. Don't talk to me," he said, according to Politico.

Yet after a recent falling out with Fox News FOXA, Trump's campaign is opening up to media outlets that have not traditionally sided with him or with the Republican Party.

Also Read: Murdoch’s Son Says Fox News’ $787M Settlement Preceding Tucker Carlson’s Exit Was A ‘Business Decision’

In recent months, Fox News has been pushing positive messaging supporting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as its preferred Republican candidate in the 2024 election. 

"There are three camps of people: those who will always be with Trump, those who aren't sure and those who will never be with him," a Trump adviser told CNN. 

"We are working on getting the support of every single person in that middle category."

For CNN, the move to host a town hall with Trump can be seen as an attempt to open up to a new audience and broaden the scope of those who tune in to the country's leading 24-hour news network.

CNN's approach was criticized by competing media outlets. MSNBC's Joy Reid called it "a pretty open attempt by CNN to push itself to the right and make itself attractive and show its belly to MAGA."

The conversation between Trump and Collins was already expected to touch upon Trump's criminal charges leading to his indictment in the Stormy Daniels case, as well as several ongoing investigations, including a probe in Georgia assessing an attempt to intervene in the 2020 election and a Department of Justice investigation looking at his involvement in the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol attack.

Also Read: Mitch McConnell Rules Out Helping Joe Biden On Debt Ceiling Crisis: ‘They’re Assuming There’s Some Little Secret Plan Here’

This illustration was generated using artificial intelligence via MidJourney.

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