Former President Donald Trump received an impressive viewer response after his recent appearance on CNN town hall, drawing over 3 million viewers on Wednesday evening.
The network hasn’t seen such high ratings for a weeknight in a long time. The former president’s appearance was also his first since 2016, and this created a significant stir among viewers and political commentators.
“People are criticizing CNN for giving me a Forum to tell the TRUTH. I believe it was a very smart thing that they did, with Sky High Ratings that they haven’t seen in a very long time. It was by far the biggest Show of the night, the week, and the month!” Trump wrote on his Truth Social account to dismiss claims that an appearance on CNN was a negative thing.
During the town hall, Trump laid out his 2024 agenda, which he stated would position him as a possible candidate in the next presidential race. “Many minds were changed on Wednesday night by listening to Common Sense, and sheer ‘Brilliance’,” he stated on social media platform.
Though it wasn’t without controversy. Trump argued with CNN host Kaitlin Collins about the classified documents found at his Mar-a-Lago resort, and at one point calling her a “nasty person.” He also said he would pardon many of the protesters who were sentenced for their roles in the Jan. 6, 2021 breach at the Capitol.
However, he faced the most backlash regarding his response to the verdict rendered by a New York jury, which held him liable for sexual battery and defamation in a lawsuit brought by writer E. Jean Carroll. Trump said during the town hall that Carroll’s story was “fake” and “made up.” Meanwhile, he appealed the jury’s verdict on Thursday.
Some Democrats criticized CNN for providing a platform for Trump, claiming that he used it to spread misinformation and discredit election results. However, many applauded his performance, with Governor Jim Justice of West Virginia writing on Twitter, “President Trump dominated the CNN town hall tonight.”
Trump’s appearance was notable because it was also his first major TV event for his 2024 presidential campaign. Apart from Trump, four other major Republicans have announced their 2024 bids. So far, at least 50 House lawmakers, 10 senators, and two governors have chosen to endorse Trump for 2024, according to Ballotpedia’s endorsement tracker.