Donald Trump made a big Trump show out of his first appearance on the US broadcaster CNN in seven years. But the ex-president also had to take a stand on concrete political issues. Those were his answers.
Donald Trump’s appearance on CNN has brought harsh reactions to the news channel. CNN gave the former president a platform with the live broadcast of the citizen survey in the state of New Hampshire to spread his lies and conspiracy stories to the cheers of a largely well-disposed audience, critics complain. The TV evening went exactly as many had previously feared, commented star-USA correspondent Leonie Scheuble the event. “With lies, hate speech and insults on the open stage – and a Trump who got what he wanted: attention.”
Even the station itself published a scathing analysis of its own show on its website. “It’s hard to see how America was served with the spectacle of lies that aired Wednesday night on CNN,” .
But if you look closely, you can see how the Trump show might have served America, at least in some places. Both moderator Kaitlan Collins and the citizens naturally confronted Trump with questions on important political issues during the town hall event. And Trump’s responses—or non-responses—are indicative of the Republican nominee’s positions. Here you are:
Trump on Russia’s war against Ukraine
Trump avoided clear statements. When asked if he would continue to provide money and arms to Ukraine should he become president again in 2024, he replied evasively: “I want Europe to provide more money because they laugh at us. They think we are a bunch of idiots.” The 76-year-old claimed the US government was giving away so much equipment that there was no ammunition left for its own troops.
Trump declined to say whether he wanted Ukraine or Russia to win. “I don’t see it from the point of view of winning and losing. I see it from the point of view of ending it (the war),” said the ex-president, who had repeatedly expressed his appreciation for Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin in the past. “I want everyone to stop dying.”
Trump once again pretended that he could end the war, which had been going on for more than 14 months, within 24 hours. Both parties to the conflict have strengths and weaknesses, he said. When asked by presenter Collins whether Putin was a war criminal, Trump replied: “If you say he’s a war criminal, it’s going to be a lot harder to make a deal.”
The right to abortion
Trump dodged the question of whether he would sign a federal ban on abortion if he returned to the White House. “I will negotiate in such a way that people are satisfied,” he replied. The Republican repeatedly emphasized that he would “do what is right” without explaining what that was.
Regarding the ruling by the US Supreme Court, which overturned the existing abortion law last year, Trump said it gave anti-abortionists “negotiating leeway”. He appointed three of the judges who agreed to the majority decision, Trump said. “It was a great win and people are starting to understand it now.”
On several occasions, Trump falsely claimed that Democrats and pro-choice advocates wanted to “kill a ninth-month baby.”
The debt ceiling
Trump recommended that his party accept a default in the country’s debt dispute with the government: “I say to the Republican congressmen and senators out there: If they don’t give you massive spending cuts, then you will have to default. And I don’t think “There will be a default because I think the Democrats will definitely back down because they don’t want that. But it’s better than what we’re doing right now because we’re spending like drunken sailors.”
Republicans only want to approve a debt ceiling hike in exchange for billions in government spending cuts. They want to take back key elements of President Joe Biden’s reform policies, including billions in subsidies for renewable energy and a waiver of certain student fee debt. Democrats and Republicans have been arguing for months about raising the debt ceiling to prevent an impending default. Time is of the essence: without compromise, the United States is threatened with insolvency at the beginning of June, with potentially devastating economic and financial consequences far beyond the country.
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The problem of immigration
Trump accused his successor Biden of devastating policies and also referred to the difficulties on the border with Mexico. “We have become a third world country in many ways,” he warned. With the expiry of a controversial deportation regulation on Friday night, “millions” of migrants would come into the country via the 3100-kilometer southern border of the United States.
At the border, many people in charge expect a rush of refugees and migrants when the deportation regulations expire. Since March 2020, the so-called “Title 42” has made it possible to immediately reject asylum seekers with reference to the corona pandemic. They could interpret their end as the beginning of a relaxed border policy. According to CNN, the US government estimates that there are more than 150,000 US-bound migrants in northern Mexico.
During his tenure, Trump proudly defended the policy of separating children from their parents at the US-Mexico border. When this practice was first exposed, he had denied it. Now he said this cruelty was necessary to stop families from illegally crossing the border.
The Storming of the US Capitol
During his TV appearance, Trump again played down the attack on the congressional seat on January 6, 2021 by his supporters. The ex-president said the crowd he spoke to before the attack, which many then marched towards the Capitol, believed the election had been “rigged”. “They were proud. They were there with love in their hearts. It was incredible and it was a beautiful day,” Trump said.
Five people died as a result of the attack. More than 1,000 participants in the assault have been charged and more than 600 convicted. If Trump wins the election next year, they can hope for their release: “I am inclined to pardon many of them,” Trump announced. When asked if he would also pardon members of the far-right Proud Boys, he replied: “I would have to look at their case.”
January 6, 2021
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The 2020 and 2024 presidential elections
Unsurprisingly, Trump did not concede his 2020 defeat to Biden. Instead, right at the beginning of the show, he spread the much-refuted lie about electoral fraud. When Collins first asked why he should be re-elected, the 76-year-old replied: “It was a rigged election,” everyone can see that, “unless you’re a very stupid person.” Despite repeated interventions by Collins, Trump repeated his false claim several times during the public consultation.
With regard to the presidential election in 2024, Trump’s answers did not bode well. When asked if he would accept the election result, Trump replied: “If I think it’s an honest election, I would definitely do it.” Collins continued: “Will you commit yourself to accepting the results of the election regardless of the outcome?” Trumps said, “If I think it’s an honest election, I would be honored.”
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I have been working in the news industry for over 6 years, first as a reporter and now as an editor. I have covered politics extensively, and my work has appeared in major newspapers and online news outlets around the world. In addition to my writing, I also contribute regularly to 24 Hours World.