Last updated on May 31st, 2023 at 02:57 am
CNN has announced that it will be holding a presidential town hall with President Donald Trump on May 10th at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire. This will be Trump’s first appearance on the network since the 2016 presidential campaign. The town hall will feature New Hampshire Republicans and undeclared voters who plan to vote in the 2024 GOP presidential primary and will be moderated by “CNN This Morning” anchor Kaitlan Collins.
The town hall comes as Donald Trump has quickly emerged as the frontrunner in the Republican field for president in 2024. A handful of Republicans have entered the 2024 race so far, though Donald Trump’s biggest potential rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, is still weighing a possible campaign. Donald Trump’s campaign and political allies have continued to ramp up their attacks on DeSantis as the former president has racked up congressional endorsements, including from Florida Republicans who routinely work with DeSantis.
Between March 23 and April 19, in the Harvard-Harris poll, Trump’s support for the Republican nomination increased from 50 percent to 55 percent, while his main competitor Ron DeSantis dropped from 24 percent to 20 percent. According to the Emerson poll, which strongly favors Donald Trump, he received 62 percent of the vote, while DeSantis received only 16 percent. It is worth noting that the Emerson poll has consistently shown Trump doing better than any other national poll, with a statistically unlikely streak of 9 months at exactly 55 percent.
The announcement of the town hall event was met with widespread criticism, as CNN has had a difficult relationship with Trump in the past. However, it may also be part of CNN’s restructuring to become less a mouthpiece for woke liberalism and Trump-bashing and more something that resembles an actual news network.
On November 7, 2018, during a press conference at the White House, CNN's Jim Acosta asked President Trump about his use of the word "invasion" to describe Central American migrant caravans. Trump and Acosta argued, and when Acosta attempted to ask a follow-up question, Trump refused and signaled to a White House intern to take the microphone. Acosta refused to give up the microphone, and when it was taken from him, Trump criticized Acosta and CNN. Later that day, an unidentified Secret Service agent confiscated Acosta's press pass, with the White House claiming that Acosta had "placed his hands" on the intern.
The event may be a way for CNN to regain some form of credibility when it comes to being a news network that covers both sides. Regardless of one’s opinion of Trump, news organizations need to give airtime to all sides to foster a healthy democracy. Whether Trump will be able to provide substantive answers to the questions asked remains to be seen, but the town hall will certainly be watched by millions of people across the country.
The event will stream live for pay TV subscribers via CNN.com and CNN OTT and mobile apps under “TV Channels,” or CNNgo where available. The town hall will also be available On Demand beginning Thursday, May 11 to pay TV subscribers via CNN.com, CNN apps, and Cable Operator Platforms. There’s no word if a free stream will be made available, Stay tuned.