CNN cut the network town hall with President Trump Wednesday night short by twenty minutes after Trump, backed by an overwhelmingly supportive audience (selected by CNN), took over the forum from anchor Kaitlan Collins early on and never let go. The live event at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire was scheduled to run from 8 p.m. EDT to 9:30 p.m., but just before 9:10 p.m. Collins abruptly ended the town hall.
President Trump smiles as he takes the stage at the start of CNN’s town hall, screen image.
An introduction to a live feed by the Telegraph documented the planned duration of City Hall:
Good evening. Follow our updates as Donald Trump takes part in a ‘town hall’ where he will face questions from a live audience. The 90 Minute event comes a day after a civil jury found the former US president responsible for the sexual abuse of writer E Jean Carroll. Mr Trump reacted to the discovery by posting on his Truth Social app that the case was a “witch hunt” and that he had “absolutely no idea who this woman is”. Expect more defensive comments when Mr Trump takes the stage in New Hampshire tonight. The event will be hosted by former White House chief correspondent and CNN anchor Kaitlan Collins.
Dylan Byers of Puck reported that CNN cut the town hall short: “Note: CNN’s town hall was a 90-minute show, although the network expects the actual event to last up to 75 minutes. They stopped less than 70 minutes later. In other words, they could have stayed longer if they wanted to, which is what leaders usually do with large audience draws.
Note: CNN’s Town Hall was a 90-minute broadcast, although the network expects the actual event to last up to 75 minutes. They stopped less than 70 minutes later. In other words, they could have stayed longer if they wanted to, which is what leaders usually do with large audience draws.
—Dylan Byers (@DylanByers) May 11, 2023
Van Jones to Kaitlin Collins: pic.twitter.com/7YeP9CFIw5
— Big Tom Callahan🇺🇸 (@CallahanAutoCo) May 11, 2023
When Trump’s town hall lasts exactly 69 minutes and ends at 6:09 p.m. @alx pic.twitter.com/3RDYoOOneU
— Luke Brocks (@building_brocks) May 11, 2023
Exchanges like these were the reason CNN threw in the towel.
Trump just pulled out receipts to refute Kaitlin Collins’ claims about CNN town hall…and the crowd cheers!
This is NOT going the way CNN intended. pic.twitter.com/7byCeFkCHr
— Tim Young (@TimRunsHisMouth) May 11, 2023
Collins: ‘There is no evidence of this voter fraud’
Trump: ‘You’re supposed to say that’
Collins: “It’s the truth, Mr. President” pic.twitter.com/RVE4yRvDYE
—Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) May 11, 2023
Former President Trump to Kaitlan Collins:
“You’re a mean person, I’ll tell you…” pic.twitter.com/6rkLCfbsPQ
– Townhall.com (@townhallcom) May 11, 2023
CNN’s Kaitlan Collins asks President Trump why he had documents at Mar-a-Lago, and Trump drops TRUTH BOMBS on her.
“They didn’t attack Biden’s house! It’s the one with the Corvette and the documents were lying on the floor. I have secret services. He did not do it ! pic.twitter.com/ZfHc5UFqfB
— Alex Sheppard 🇺🇸 (@NotAlexSheppard) May 11, 2023
Breitbart’s Joel Pollak observed that audiences laugh at Collins: “@CNN audiences are laughing at Kaitlin Collins because she keeps trying to squeeze Trump’s answers into her preconceived categories. It’s stupid and, yes, it’s funny to make fun of her by doing that.
THE @CNN audience mocks Kaitlin Collins because she keeps trying to squeeze Trump’s answers into her preconceived categories. It’s stupid and, yes, it’s funny to make fun of her doing that. https://t.co/Qz8Gb0sYtE
— Joel Pollak (@joelpollak) May 11, 2023
Clip where the public makes fun of Collins:
I have a headache. Over an hour of that! pic.twitter.com/GU6UL5rYLI
— Kevin Tober (@KevinTober94) May 11, 2023
Earlier Wednesday, Dylan Byers announced that CNN was set to promote Collins to host his own primetime show.
SCOOP @PuckNews: CNN CEO Chris Licht plans to offer tonight’s Trump Town Hall moderator Kaitlan Collins a new contract to serve as host of the network’s 9 p.m. prime time. The move could be announced as early as next week >> https://t.co/kqupB5304h
—Dylan Byers (@DylanByers) May 10, 2023
Collins was so confident and loaded for the bears at the start.
CNN @KaitlanCollins“No questions are on the table, and we have agreed to no conditions. We are here to get voters the answers they deserve.” pic.twitter.com/eVVfqn47iW
—Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) May 11, 2023
Last word to Steve Bannon, “The first time the ‘Mercy Rule’ is invoked…”
The first time the “Rule of Mercy” is invoked…
— Grace Chong 🇺🇸 (@gc22gc) May 11, 2023