Anderson Cooper Addresses Backlash to Trump's Town Hall: 'You Have Every Right' to Never Watch CNN Again


CNN’s Anderson Cooper is responding to outrage over the network’s decision to hold a town hall event with former President Donald Trump.

On Thursday evening, Cooper noted, “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,” he said.

He went on:

“It was disturbing to see and hear that person refer to a Black law enforcement officer as a thug… And call 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 our democracy on Jan. 6. And it was awful to hear him spread ridiculous lies about the election.

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Cooper added, “And it was certainly disturbing to hear that audience, young and old, our fellow citizens, people who love their kids, who go to church, laugh and applaud his lies.”

The host noted the criticism the network should not have even given Trump a platform to begin with.

However, he said, “The man you were so disturbed to see and hear from last night: that man is the front-runner for the Republican nomination for president. And according to polling, no other Republican is 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 members, your neighbors, and they are voting. And many said they’re voting for him,” he added.

Cooper tried to pour cold water on the hope some investigation will prevent Trump from winning the nomination, and possibly the general election, as he pointed out no investigation so far has stopped him.

Finally, Cooper said, “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?” he asked.

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Those criticizing Trump may hate him and passionately and wish some storm would carry him away into the stratosphere, never to be seen or heard from again.

But simply wishing for some external event to take him out of the race is no solution — rather it is probably the solution to him winning again. And blocking him out of the mainstream media is not going to prevent him from getting his message out. Instead, it would likely limit the chances of him having a disastrous performance, and increase the number of positive interviews and exchanges circulating.

Trump is not going away any time soon, it seems, and if people think they can just ignore him and “mute” him as though real life is a Twitter feed, they could be in for a rude awakening after the 2024 election.

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