Donald Trump to Appear on CNN Town Hall in Seeming Rapprochement

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Donald Trump and CNN have in recent years seemed to go together as well as Coca-Cola and mayonnaise, which is to say not at all. Now the two entities are teaming up for a town-hall program to be broadcast next week.

Kaitlan Collins, the former Washington correspondent turned morning anchor who was often called out by Trump during rallies and press scrums, will moderate a live CNN Town Hall with the former president on May 10 from St. Anselm College in New Hampshire. Trump, who has declared his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024, will take questions from an audience of New Hampshire Republicans and undeclared voters who say they intend to vote in the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary.

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CNN has in the recent past seemed to take a dim view of Trump, and vice-versa. Trump routinely called CNN journalism “fake news,” and yelled at CNN reporters during White House press conferences (he yelled at correspondents from other journalism outlets as well). CNN famously sued the Trump White House in 2018 after Jim Acosta’s credentials were revoked following a contentious press conference (Fox News Channel, incidentally, supported CNN in the argument).

The interview is revealed as CNN, now under the ownership of Warner Bros. Discovery, seeks to broaden its appeal to viewers who may be liberal or conservative. The network has taken care to point out a new spate of bookings involving Republican newsmakers in recent months, and on Monday, aired a segment on “CNN This Morning” that examined Mike Lindell, the entrepreneur behind MyPillow, and his quest to push theories that Republicans who lost their bid for election to national office in the 2022 midterm elections, actually won. Lindell’s theories have been debunked several times.

CNN said it “has a longstanding tradition of hosting leading presidential candidates for Town Halls and political events as a critical component of the network’s robust campaign coverage, ” and that this town hall “will be the first of many for CNN in the coming months as CNN correspondents travel across the country to hear directly from voters in the runup to the 2024 presidential election.”

CNN’s zeal to cover Trump in the run-up to the 2016 election has been seen as a critical factor in his Oval Office victory.

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