Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez blasted CNN’s controversial Donald Trump town hall as “shameful” as the former president used the live event to push “rigged” election lies and baseless conspiracy theories.
“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 Democratic lawmaker from New York tweeted.
“The audience is cheering him on and laughing at the host. This falls squarely on CNN. Everyone here saw exactly what was going to happen.
“Instead they put a sexual abuse victim in harm’s way for views. This was a choice to platform lies about the election & Jan 6th w/ no plan but to have their moderator interrupted without consequence.”
The event took place in front of an audience of 400 Republican and GOP-leaning independent voters in New Hampshire on Wednesday night.
Ms Ocasio-Cortez then went on MSNBC where she criticised CNN for allowing Mr Trump to criticise the $5m E Jean Carroll sexual abuse verdict against him.
“I know you said earlier that you will not comment on the platforming of such atrocious disinformation, but I would,” she said on air.
"What we saw tonight was a series of extremely irresponsible decisions that put a sexual abuse victim at risk...in front of a national audience, and I could not have disagreed with it more. It was shameful." pic.twitter.com/XvCAa9oDl4— Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@RepAOC) May 11, 2023
“I think it was a profoundly irresponsible decision. I don’t think I would be doing my job if I did not say that what we saw tonight was a series of extremely irresponsible decisions that put a sexual abuse victim at risk, that put that person at risk in front of a national audience and I could not have disagreed with it more. It was shameful.”
In a statement, CNN defended the event and praised the work of Collins.
“Tonight Kaitlan Collins exemplified what it means to be a world-class journalist. She asked tough, fair and revealing questions,” a spokesperson said.
“And she followed up and fact-checked President Trump in real time to arm voters with crucial information about his positions as he enters the 2024 election as the Republican frontrunner. That is CNN’s role and responsibility: to get answers and hold the powerful to account.”
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