Donalds Faces Gauntlet Following CNN Trump Town Hall

Donalds Faces Gauntlet Following CNN Trump Town Hall

Jackson Bakich
Jackson Bakich
May 11, 2023

Following the historic CNN Town Hall that saw former President Donald Trump (R) make an appearance on the network for the first time since 2016, Representative Byron Donalds (R-FL) entered the lion’s den and stood his ground to defend him.

The town hall, which was a little over an hour, saw Kaitlan Collins of CNN spend a lot of time on the January 6th mess, the 2020 election, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Trump called the 2020 election rigged, claimed that the Russian invasion would end in 24 hours if he was in the Oval Office, and provided a piece of paper showing tweets looking to exonerate himself from the allegations that he did not do enough to stop the January 6th catastrophe. Collins immediately rebuffed Trump’s claims.

After all the panelists gave their opinions (almost none of which were pro-Trump), Rep. Donalds began to run through the gauntlet of questioning from his colleagues at the news desk.

“First of all, town halls are for the voters, not for the press. Kaitlan [Collins] spent more time interjecting her own views on the situation,” as Rep. Donalds was then rebuffed by the likes of Anderson Cooper and Van Jones. However, Donalds continued, “The town hall is for the President to speak to the voters of New Hampshire, not for this back and forth.”

Moreover, Rep. Donalds disagreed with the panelists that Trump is weak on Russia and willing to “give over Ukraine.”

“With respect to Ukraine, I totally disagree. He did not say he was just going to give over Ukraine the way you (the panelists) intimate…what he said was that he would actually look for a solution to end it quickly. He put 24 hours on it. But let’s be very clear: what Joe Biden has done has been a disaster. Because initially with Ukraine, Joe Biden wanted to give Volodymyr Zelenskyy a ride out of Dodge. He wanted to give him a plane ride. And it wasn’t until people in Moscow and Ukraine, here in the United States, said this invasion is wrong, that Joe Biden reversed course.”

Perhaps the biggest point of contention was whether Trump authorized use of the National Guard to protect Capitol Hill on January 6th.

Donalds stated, “Let me be very clear: What was said in this town hall about National Guard troops that were authorized by Kaitlan was wrong. I’m on the Oversight Committee. I was in two hearings on January 6th, it was testified in Oversight that Donald Trump authorized National Guard troops on January 4[th] , he followed up in a call with then Acting Secretary of Defense on January 5[th] trying to see where the deployment was on these troops. That is the testimony in the Oversight Committee.”

During the town hall, Donalds put out this video before appearing on CNN.

He was asked repeatedly to answer whether he believed that Donald Trump lost the election or not. He refused to answer.

“This is what’s frustrating to a lot of people. You want me to state it the way you want me to state it.”

Rep. Donalds officially endorsed former President Trump in April.

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Jackson Bakich

Jackson Bakich

Born in Orlando but raised in Lake County, Florida, Jackson Bakich is currently a senior at Florida State University. Growing up in the sunshine state, Bakich co-hosted the political talk radio show "Lake County Roundtable" (WLBE) and was a frequent guest for "Lake County Sports Show" (WQBQ). Currently, he is the Sports Editor of the FSView and the co-host of "Tomahawk Talk" (WVFS), a sports talk radio program covering Florida State athletics in Tallahassee.

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