Former President Donald Trump carried out a familiar attack Wednesday night while taking part in a live town hall-style event hosted by CNN.
The town hall marked the first of the 2024 presidential campaign for the network and the first time Trump has appeared on CNN since his 2016 presidential bid. The event took place in front of registered New Hampshire voters planning to vote in the Republican primary on next year.
Moderator Kaitlan Collins spent much of the night confronting Trump over his responses, which included false or misleading statements about voter fraud, the January 6, 2021 attack on Capitol Hill, and the FBI’s investigation into classified documents found on the Capitol Hill. Trump’s house in Palm Beach. Florida.
Towards the beginning of the event, Trump repeated his theory that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him due to voter fraud. Collins quickly dismissed his statement and asked the former president to publicly acknowledge his loss to President Joe Biden. Trump refused to do so.
During another heated town hall moment, Collins pressed the former president on why he withheld classified federal documents at his Mar-a-Lago property even after the Department of Justice (DOJ) subpoenaed him to return them. court documents Filed in late August show that the DOJ had sent a subpoena to Trump seeking “any and every one” of the classified materials in May 2022, roughly three months before FBI officials raided his Florida home.
Trump deflected Collins’ questions by noting that Biden was also found to have classified documents in his possession in the fall, dating back to his tenure as vice president. Collins, however, pressed further against Trump, pointing out that Biden had quickly turned over the documents once his lawyers found them.
The former president insisted that he was entitled to the documents and snapped at Collins as she continued to ask her question.
“Are you ready? Can I talk?” Trump interrupted her.
“Yes, I would like you to answer the question. That’s why I asked it,” replied Collins.
“It’s very simple that you are an unpleasant person,” he continued.
Trump has a history of using the term “nasty” to describe various women, including calling former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a “nasty woman” during a presidential debate when the two faced each other in 2016.
A CNN spokesperson said Wednesday night news week“Tonight, Kaitlan Collins exemplified what it means to be a world-class journalist.”
“He asked tough, fair and revealing questions. And he tracked and verified President Trump in real time to arm voters with crucial information about where he stands as he enters the 2024 election as the leading Republican candidate,” the statement continued. “That’s CNN’s role and responsibility: to get answers and hold the powerful to account.”
When the show ended, Collins asked Trump if he would commit to accepting the results of the 2024 presidential election “regardless of the outcome.” The former president is the favorite for the Republican nomination, based on several hypothetical matchups.
“If I think it’s an honest choice, I would be honored,” Trump responded. “Right now we’re way ahead of both the Democrats and the Republicans, and you know what, if I don’t win, this country is in big trouble.”
Collins ended the show by thanking Trump for engaging in “an important conversation,” to which Trump responded while shaking her hand: “Thank you so much, Kaitlan. Good job.”
Update 05/10/2023, 11:47 pm ET: This story has been updated with additional comment from CNN.