According to The New York Times, advisers close to former President Donald Trump were in shock by how well his Wednesday town hall on CNN in New Hampshire went.
While Trump faced stiff early opposition from moderator Kaitlan Collins, the former president quickly shined as he became the de facto host of the event.
In front of a crowd of Republican and Republican-leaning Granite State voters, the former president received applause as he consistently challenged Collins and her network’s narratives.
It was apparent from the opening moment CNN had set a trap for Trump.
It did not take him long to escape it and turn the tables on Collins and the failed policies of President Joe Biden. The former president also shared his sense of humor throughout moments where no topic was off-limits.
Trump just pulls out receipts to disprove Kaitlin Collins’ claims on the CNN town hall… and the crowd cheers!
This is NOT going the way CNN wanted it to. pic.twitter.com/7byCeFkCHr
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) May 11, 2023
Jonathan Swan of The New York Times shared one anecdote during the newspaper’s live updates of the town hall on Wednesday night.
“Advisers to Trump are thrilled at how this is going so far for him,” Swan wrote.
The reporter added, “They can’t believe he is getting an hour on CNN with an audience that cheers his every line and laughs at his every joke.”
Shelby Talcott with Semafor reported she had received a text from a Trump adviser who called the event a “home run.”
“home run,” a Trump advisor texts me after tonight’s CNN town hall.
— Shelby Talcott (@ShelbyTalcott) May 11, 2023
While Trump’s team was pleased, some CNN employees were said to have been peeved by how the event played out.
Immediate reaction from a CNN on-air personality to me just now on this Trump town hall: “It is so bad. I was cautiously optimistic despite the criticism. It is awful. It’s a Trump infomercial. We’re going to get crushed.”
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) May 11, 2023
CNN journalist texts: “That was sickening”
“Shame on us”
— Aidan McLaughlin (@aidnmclaughlin) May 11, 2023
Collins was also attacked by her peers in the left-wing media and simultaneously skewered by conservatives for her treatment of the former president.
“ … to arm voters with crucial information about his positions as he enters the 2024 election as the Republican frontrunner. That is CNN’s role and responsibility: to get answers and hold the powerful to account.”
— Dominick Mastrangelo (@DomMastrangelo1) May 11, 2023
Former ESPN and MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann, who has a long history of losing high-profile jobs, commented the network had allowed Trump to end Collins’ career.
She should sue her agent and Licht for ending her career tonight https://t.co/D4A35lB969
— Keith Olbermann↙️ (@KeithOlbermann) May 11, 2023
“She should sue her agent and Licht for ending her career tonight,” he wrote.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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