CNN cut short the network’s town hall with President Trump Wednesday night by twenty minutes after Trump, backed by a wildly supportive audience (hand picked by CNN), took control of the forum from anchor Kaitlan Collins right from the start and never let up. The live event at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire was scheduled to run from 8 p.m. EDT until 9:30 p.m., however right before 9:10 p.m. Collins abruptly ended the town hall.
President Trump smiles as he walks on stage at start of CNN town hall, screen image.
An intro to a live thread by the Telegraph documented the scheduled length of the town hall:
Good evening. Follow our updates as Donald Trump participates in a ‘town hall’ during which he will face questions from a live audience. The 90-minute event comes one day after a civil jury found the former US President liable for the sexual abuse of writer E Jean Carroll. Mr Trump reacted to that finding 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 further defensive comments when Mr Trump takes the stage in New Hampshire tonight. The event will be moderated by former chief White House correspondent and CNN anchor Kaitlan Collins.
Puck’s Dylan Byers reported on CNN cutting the town hall short, “Note: The CNN Town Hall was a 90 minute broadcast, though the network expected the actual event to go as long as 75 minutes. They stopped less than 70 minutes in. In other words, they could have gone longer if they wanted—which is usually what executives do with big ratings draws”
Note: The CNN Town Hall was a 90 minute broadcast, though the network expected the actual event to go as long as 75 minutes. They stopped less than 70 minutes in. In other words, they could have gone longer if they wanted—which is usually what executives do with big ratings draws
— Dylan Byers (@DylanByers) May 11, 2023
Van Jones to Kaitlin Collins: pic.twitter.com/7YeP9CFIw5
— Big Tom Callahan🇺🇸 (@CallahanAutoCo) May 11, 2023
When the Trump town hall lasts exactly 69 minutes and ends at 6:09 PM. @alx pic.twitter.com/3RDYoOOneU
— Luke Brocks (@building_brocks) May 11, 2023
Exchanges like these were why CNN threw in the towel.
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
Collins: “There’s no evidence of that election 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 nasty person, I’ll tell ya…” 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 raid Brandon’s house! That’s the one with the Corvette and the documents were laying all over the floor. I have Secret Service. He didn’t!” pic.twitter.com/ZfHc5UFqfB
— Alex Sheppard 🇺🇸 (@NotAlexSheppard) May 11, 2023
Breitbart’s Joel Pollak observed the audience was laughing at Collins, “The @CNN audience is laughing at Kaitlin Collins because she keeps trying to squeeze Trump’s answers into her preconceived categories. It’s stupid and, yes, it is funny to laugh at her doing that.”
The @CNN audience is laughing at Kaitlin Collins because she keeps trying to squeeze Trump’s answers into her preconceived categories. It’s stupid and, yes, it is funny to laugh at her doing that. https://t.co/Qz8Gb0sYtE
— Joel Pollak (@joelpollak) May 11, 2023
Clip where audience laughs at Collins:
I have a headache. Over an hour of this! pic.twitter.com/GU6UL5rYLI
— Kevin Tober (@KevinTober94) May 11, 2023
Earlier Wednesday, Dylan Byers reported CNN was set to promote Collins to host of her own prime time show.
SCOOP @PuckNews: CNN C.E.O. Chris Licht plans to offer Kaitlan Collins, moderator of tonight’s Trump town hall, a new contract to serve as the host of the network’s 9 p.m. primetime hour. 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 bear at the outset.
CNN’s @KaitlanCollins: “No questions are off the table, and we agreed to no conditions. We’re here to get voters the answers that they deserve.” pic.twitter.com/eVVfqn47iW
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) May 11, 2023
Last word to Steve Bannon, “First Time Ever ‘Mercy Rule’ Invoked…”
First Time Ever ‘Mercy Rule’ Invoked…
— Grace Chong 🇺🇸 (@gc22gc) May 11, 2023