Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) criticized CNN for inviting former President Donald Trump to appear on a town hall segment, saying, “People were sounding the alarm about this exact scenario. They let it happen anyway without a plan.”
“This, the choice to platform election disinformation, lies about January 6th, totally unchecked and reckless claims about abortion… they need to take ownership of what just happened,” Ocasio-Cortez added.
This, the choice to platform election disinformation, lies about January 6th, totally unchecked and reckless claims about abortion… they need to take ownership of what just happened.
This cannot be normalized. It’s dangerous.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 11, 2023
Ocasio-Cortez said that CNN allowing Trump on their platform “cannot be normalized. It’s dangerous.”
At the town hall event moderated by CNN host Kaitlan Collins, Trump continued to claim that the 2020 presidential election was “rigged” and defended his actions during the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol protests. Collins pressed Trump on issues concerning abortion access, illegal immigration, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
While appearing on MSNBC, Ocasio-Cortez criticized CNN for the event, saying it promoted “atrocious disinformation.”
“I think it was a profoundly irresponsible decision,” she said. “I don’t think I would be doing my job if I did not say that… It was shameful.”
CNN’s announcement that Trump would appear on the network, which he’s criticized throughout his presidency, was met with anger from left-leaning individuals. Trump spoke in front of a mostly Republican crowd in New Hampshire. His comments were mostly met with supportive laughter and applause.
Ocasio-Cortez was one of several liberals to express frustration over CNN’s decision to host Trump. Some argued Collins didn’t do enough to fact-check the former president, while others said CNN CEO Chris Licht was putting ratings above journalism.
“The format was impossible and CNN’s bosses should have known that. Chris Licht is rapidly becoming the Elon Musk of CNN,” MSNBC contributor Charlie Sykes fumed.
The town hall, which took place at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire, came a day after Trump was found guilty by a New York City jury of physically violating writer E. Jean Carroll nearly 30 years ago. During the event, Trump said Carroll was “a wack job,” and claimed that he had never met her.
Trump’s campaign team expressed joy over Trump’s performance at the CNN event. Campaign spokeswoman Liz Harrington said Trump was “masterful” and praised him for handling the “Fake News … with ease.”