Trump Dukes It Out With CNN Host in Fiery Debate on Primetime TV
“If I’m President, I will have that war settled in one day.”
“You are a nasty person. I’ll tell you,” expressed former President Donald J. Trump to CNN moderator Kaitlin Collins.
Mr. Trump’s comments came after a long-winded quarrel with the former White House correspondent during a CNN-hosted town hall at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire Wednesday night.
But who is this Kaitlan Collins? And what about her, in particular, irked Donald Trump so much?
Kaitlan is a 31-year-old American journalist who served as CNN’s Chief White House correspondent from July 2017 to September 2022. Before taking on that role, she interestingly worked for conservative news outlet The Daily Caller from 2014 to 2017. Now, she co-anchors CNN This Morning and serves as the show’s chief correspondent.
Throughout the night, Kaitlan Collins often interrupted the former President and alleged he was making “false claims,” particularly concerning election fraud. She rarely cited sources, if any, when she deemed former President Trump to be making false statements and probed him with questions from a partial point of view.
Much of the dialogue shifted away from the New Hampshire residents asking Trump questions and, instead, to Trump and Collins engaging in spirited debates. As such, Mr. Trump often appeared annoyed while speaking with Kaitlan Collins on stage.
The evening started with much energy in the room.
Most of the New Hampshire crowd welcomed Donal Trump with a standing ovation after Kaitlan Collins introduced the former President.
But quickly, the situation turned to debate mode.
“When they [January 6 rioters] went to the Capitol, and they were breaking into the Capitol smashing windows — injuring police officers, why did you why did it take you three hours to tell them to go home?” asked Collins.
“I don’t believe I did,” replied Trump, as he reached into his suit pocket for a written log of his past tweets.
“So if you look at January 5, the day before, I said, ‘Please support our Capitol police and law enforcement. They are truly on the side of our country. Stay peaceful. Stay peaceful. This was the day before.’ And this was in the form of Twitter,” former President Trump stated.
“If you look at January 6,” he continued, “‘We want no violence. Remember, we are the party of Law and Order. Respect the law and our great men and women in blue. Thank you.’ That was at 2:30 p.m.”
The quarrel continued with the topic of Ukraine.
“Would you give Ukraine weapons and funding if you were [in power]?” asked Kaitlan Collins.
“I would sit down — let me just put it a nicer way,” replied Trump. “If I’m president, I will have that war settled in one day, 24 hours.”
The audience cheered.
“How would you settle that war in one day?” questioned Collins.
“I’ll meet with Putin; I’ll meet with Zelensky,” responded Trump. “They both have weaknesses, and they both have strengths. And within 24 hours, that war will be settled. It’ll be over. It’d be absolutely —”
“Do you want Ukraine to win this war?” interrupted Collins.
“I don’t think in terms of winning and losing, I think in terms of getting it settled, so we stop killing all these people and breaking down this country,” answered Trump.
The most memorable moment of the night occurred after Collins probed Trump on declassified documents.
“I was negotiating with NARA. Do you know what NARA is?” asked Trump.
“It’s the National Archives,” answered Collins.
“Extremely left group of people — extremely left,” expressed Trump.
“They’re not left; they’re bipartisan,” interjected Collins.
Trump continued. “And I was negotiating with them [NARA], and all of a sudden, they raided my house! They didn’t raid the house of Joe Biden. They didn’t raid Obama.”
“But Joe Biden didn’t ignore a subpoena to get those documents back like you did,” interrupted Collins. “And so, that’s the question that investigators have, I think, is why you held on to those documents when you knew the Federal government was seeking them and then had given you a subpoena to return them?”
“Are you ready? Can I talk?” loathed Trump.
“Yeah, what’s the answer?” asked Collins.
“Do you mind?” lamented Trump.
“I would like you to answer the question,” pressured Collins.
“Okay, it’s very simple to answer,” replied Trump.
“That’s why I asked it,” snickered Collins.
“It’s very simple,” replied Trump, until he felt compelled to say, “You are a nasty person. I’ll tell you.”
The audience erupted in laughter and cheer.
Twitter users weighed in on the altercation.
“She was rude, unprofessional and allowed her dislike of Trump to glow neon...so much for her “professional” career....she could be on the View...she is nasty enough for them...so much hate...” said one user.
“Felt more like an interrogation than questions. Trump roasted her,” said another.
“She’s being so tough on him. How dare she ask him to answer a question?!” a user sarcastically stated.
“There’s such a thing as STFU and listening so he can [answer],” replied Dr. Henry Ealy.
Whether you are pro-Trump or Pro-Collins or somewhere in between, there is something we can all agree upon: The town hall was very entertaining.
The entire town hall with CNN’s reaction is available in the Rumble video below:
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It's all a balancing act - Hit Trump with the tough questions, treat him rudely; save the softball questions for Biden, delivered with kid gloves and ice cream cones.
"Politics is the entertainment division of the military-industrial complex." Frank Zappa.