Former President Donald Trump's 2024 campaign for the White House declared victory after his powerful performance Wednesday night during a CNN town hall.
"Democrats were hoping CNN would trap President Trump and destroy his presidential campaign on live TV during last night’s town hall. But President Trump TOOK COMMAND of the CNN town hall and spoke directly to the VOTERS who responded with cheers, applause, and even laughs," the GOP front-runner's campaign wrote in an email to supporters.
"His CNN town hall was so masterful that many are now saying CNN should be renamed TNN – the Trump News Network," the email proclaimed.
It then encouraged people to order a T-shirt that reads, "This is TNN."
— Randy DeSoto (@RandyDeSoto) May 11, 2023
Of course, the old adage applies, “Where you stand depends upon where you sit.”
Many on the left were aghast that CNN would even host Trump. That included New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who wrote the network "should be ashamed of themselves."
CNN should be ashamed of themselves.
They have lost total control of this “town hall” to again be manipulated into platforming election disinformation, defenses of Jan 6th, and a public attack on a sexual abuse victim.
The audience is cheering him on and laughing at the host.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) May 11, 2023
The intent of Trump and his team was no doubt to get him before some new faces in his bid to return to the White House.
The former president said in a video posted on Truth Social ahead of the town hall that he agreed to do the event on CNN because the network “is rightfully desperate to get those Trump ratings back.”
“They made me a deal I couldn’t refuse. Could be the beginning of a new and vibrant CNN with no more fake news or it could be a total disaster for all, including me,” he continued.
“Let’s see what happens.”
What happened is Trump had a good night.
CNN was no doubt hoping to goad him into lashing out, given some of the inflammatory questions moderator Kaitlan Collins asked.
Trump called her "a nasty person" when she kept badgering and interrupting him over a question she asked about the Department of Justice's investigation involving his handling of documents.
"Are you ready? Can I talk?" he asked Collins. "Do you mind? Do you mind?"
"I would like for you to answer the question. That's why I asked it," she snidely responded, to which Trump said, "You're a nasty person, I tell you."
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
But the former president mostly was the happy warrior during the evening.
Collins launched the town hall by asking Trump whether he accepts the 2020 election results as legitimate.
He reiterated his oft-stated view that he did not think they were.
"When you look at that result, and when you look at what happened during that election, unless you're a very stupid person, you see what happened ... That was a rigged election," he said.
Former President Trump on the 2020 Election:
"When you look at that result, and when you look at what happened during that election, unless you're a very stupid person, you see what happened... That was a rigged election." pic.twitter.com/TkkMMrTubI
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) May 11, 2023
Some of Trump's best moments of the evening came when he was able to talk policy, including the need to resecure the border and tackle inflation, especially high energy costs.
Both the border crisis and America's high gas prices are directly attributable to policies Joe Biden implemented.
"We have enough problems right now. We have problems like we've never had in the history of our country," Trump said, without allowing millions of people to pour into the country illegally.
President Trump was asked about the Biden Administration’s Open Border policies in tonight’s CNN Town Hall.
“I built hundreds of miles of wall and I finished it. I started another hundred miles of wall and then—we had a Rigged Election.”
Kaitlan Collins is in denial! pic.twitter.com/VEjujO2O0x
— Alex Sheppard 🇺🇸 (@NotAlexSheppard) May 11, 2023
The former president's answer for high prices starts first with, "Drill, baby, drill."
The result is oil production is down over 500,000 barrels a day from its peak during the Trump administration.
Drill, baby, drill pic.twitter.com/bXjDfbd94m
— MAGA War Room (@MAGAIncWarRoom) May 11, 2023
He argued that under his economic policies overall, "this place was rockin'."
The CNN town hall was a great night for Trump and reminiscent of his first GOP primary debate performance in the summer of 2015.
The Trump campaign was right to memorialize the event with a fun T-shirt.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.