Anderson Cooper regrets doing Trump townhall — here's why
On Wednesday, May 10 in New Hampshire, CNN hosted a townhall with Donald Trump. During the event — which was moderated by CNN's Kaitlan Collins — the former president and 2024 GOP presidential frontrunner falsely claimed that the 2020 election was "rigged."
CNN has drawn vehement criticism on the left for giving Trump a platform for promoting false information, while some Trump supporters in right-wing media have accused Collins of conducting a "gotcha" interview.
CNN's Anderson Cooper discussed that townhall during a New York Times Magazine interview published in Q&A form on September 5. And Cooper, who moderated a CNN townhall with Trump in February 2016, said that had the decision been his, he would not have OK'd the May 2023 event.
Cooper told the Times, "I personally would not have chosen to do a townhall. The townhall format is a specific format that CNN has done effectively for a lot of candidates. I don't think the first time Donald Trump came back on CNN — I wouldn't have done a townhall. And if he'd said no, I would have said, 'Fine, then he's not on.' But that's not my choice. I wasn't involved."
According to Cooper, CNN had a "steep learning curve" in "figuring out how to deal with" Trump — who, he lamented, is "completely willing to lie and lies repeatedly and often."
"There's a shamelessness in that and only so much you can do about it from a reporting standpoint," Cooper told the Times. "Then there's questions about, well, should there have been a townhall? Should there have been a live event? Should there have been an audience? All those are completely fair."
The full New York Times Magazine interview with Anderson Cooper is available at this link (subscription required).
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