Trump shown tweets by AOC and Andrew Yang to rile him up for battle in CNN town hall
Donald Trump was reportedly shown tweets from Democrats blasting CNN for hosting the town hall with him to psyche him up during the live broadcast.
During the initial commercial break, Trump adviser Jason Miller showed the former president recent tweets backstage at the New Hampshire college where the event was hosted, according to Axios.
Mr Trump grew more bellicose as the night went on after being shown posts by several people slamming CNN, including New York progressive Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Ms Ocasio-Cortez tweeted 23 minutes into the event: “CNN should be ashamed of themselves. They have lost total control of this ‘town hall’ to again be manipulated into platforming election disinformation, defenses of Jan 6th, and a public attack on a sexual abuse victim.”
“The audience is cheering him on and laughing at the host,” she added.
Mr Trump was also shown a tweet by Andrew Yang, the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate.
Just over half an hour into the town hall, he wrote: “This #CNNTownhall is shaping up to be a clear win for Trump, certainly in the Republican field and probably overall.”
After about 16 minutes, the Lincoln Project, spearheaded by former Republicans fed up with Mr Trump, wrote: “Call this town hall what it is: a CNN sponsored Trump 2024 fundraiser. Disgraceful.”
The former president, who had become slightly annoyed at the constant questioning by moderator Kaitlan Collins, came out swinging during the second part of the event.
Mr Trump is known to be in need of constant sources of approval to such an extent that some of his aides have kept positive polls about him on hand to show him when his mood starts to sour.
The ex-president was told by his advisers in the break during the first break to stay the course.
Mr Trump’s aides have been speaking to a number of networks of further interviews and town hall events, according to Axios.
The New Hampshire college that hosted the town hall has condemned the former president for the “deeply troubling” event.
Saint Anselm College criticised both the comments of the ex-president and the reactions to his statements by the Trump-friendly audience in the auditorium.
Ms Collins asked Mr Trump about the civil trial between him and writer and former advice columnist E Jean Carroll. Mr Trump was found liable for sexual abuse and defamation and has been ordered to pay her $5m. Mr Trump was not found liable for rape. His legal team is appealing the verdict.
Mr Trump denied Ms Carroll’s allegation, to laughter from the crowd in the room.
“A Manhattan jury found you sexually abused the writer E Jean Carroll and defamed her. You’ve denied this. But what do you say to voters who say it disqualifies you from being president?” Ms Collins said.
“Well, there aren’t too many of them because my poll numbers just came out and they went up,” Mr Trump replied.
Mr Trump claimed that he doesn’t know who Ms Carroll is.
In a statement, Saint Anselm said: “The college was deeply troubled by the former President’s remarks regarding the civil trial with a finding that he was liable for sexual assault.
“Equally disturbing was the audience’s reaction, nearly all of whom were not members of the Saint Anselm community, with laughter. The college does not tolerate sexual misconduct of any kind, including sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and sexual harassment.”