Former President Donald Trump has responded following the release of the ratings for his CNN town hall earlier this week.
Wednesday’s event was broadcast live from a venue in New Hampshire, where the first Republican primary will be held early next year. Trump is currently the clear frontrunner among declared and unannounced Republican candidates.
CNN’s decision to give Trump airtime angered liberals and left-leaning Democrats, but it was a ratings boon for the network, which has regularly placed third behind Fox News and MSNBC, though the latter has scored higher in prime time since Fox fired ratings king Tucker Carlson last month.
The Hill reports that the town hall attracted more than 3 million viewers, which is more than three times the average number of viewers for the prime-time slot.
Trump, on the other hand, praised CNN on his Truth Social platform, writing: “People are criticizing CNN for giving me a Forum to tell the TRUTH. I believe it was a very smart thing that they did, with Sky High Ratings that they haven’t seen in a very long time. It was by far the biggest Show of the night, the week, and the month!”
“The Radical Left screamed, ‘Take it down, take it down,’ during the Show, because they saw that I was making so many important points on the Border, Energy Independence, the Afghanistan Catastrophe, Inflation, the Economy, Russia/Ukraine, and so much more. Many minds were changed on Wednesday night by listening to Common Sense, and sheer ‘Brilliance,’” Trump noted in a follow-up post.
According to The Hill, however, a significant portion of the network’s talent expressed wrath and resentment at CEO Chris Licht’s decision to feature Trump.
CNN was embroiled in political and media controversy as Trump disregarded moderator Kaitlan Collins’ attempts to fact-check a series of statements he made during the event, and the town hall audience strongly supported the Republican candidate, further infuriating insiders.
“It was a total debacle, and I’ve never been more ashamed to work at CNN,” one prominent on-air talent at the network told The Hill on Thursday. “I don’t think anybody came out looking good. This is entirely a corporate and management failure. They should have anticipated how out of control Trump would be … to think he was going to act more presidential in that kind of setting is just naivety on a galactic scale.”
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