At CNN Town Hall, Trump Calls Cop Who Killed Ashli Babbitt a 'Thug'

AP Photo/Charles Krupa

Former President Donald J. Trump decided to dive right into the fray for his 2024 presidential run by going on “Fake News” CNN for a Town Hall on Wednesday night. Audience share is expected to be high because, hey, it’s Trump, and the fact that he was found liable on Tuesday for defamation and sexual abuse in the civil case brought by E. Jean Carroll.


So far, he has not disappointed. CNN anchor Kaitlan Collins does her best (which is not good enough) to try and corral Trump, doing her best Savannah Guthrie imitation in an attempt to steer the conversation in the direction she wants.

It’s a lost cause, and no one would be up to the job, especially not at CNN. Trump immediately pushed the envelope when Collins asked questions about who won the 2020 election, the January 6 kerfuffle that resulted from the “mixed” election results, and Trump’s legal battles.

When Collins pushed Trump about the damage done by his “influence” on the “insurrection,” and how “140 officers were injured that day,” Trump pushed back in his characteristically spectacular fashion.


COLLINS: In that three hours, over 140 officers were injured that day.

TRUMP: And a person named Ashli Babbitt was killed. You know what, she was killed and she shouldn’t have been killed. And that thug who killed her, there was no reason to shoot her at blank—cold, blank range they shot her. She was a good person, she was a Patriot, there was no reason. And he went on television to brag about the fact that he killed her.


Kaitlin Collins tried to deny that Capitol Police officer Michael Byrd was bragging, but Trump rebutted her on that.

So far it’s Trump = 1, Collins and CNN = 0. Save for the ratings share, which will probably be higher than CNN has seen since Trump left office in 2021, CNN is on the losing end of this battle.

Good on Trump. I appreciate his being consistent in highlighting that the only person who was irreparably harmed on January 6 was Ashli Babbitt. CNN and the rest of the legacy media barely give her a mention when they are fomenting about J-6. Trump is right, there was no reason for Babbitt’s life to have been taken, and to cavalierly dismiss her while talking about officers who may have gotten beaten up — but who survived — is unconscionable. As Collins continues her questioning, Trump continues to drop his typical bon mots that are popcorn-worthy. I expect the evening and morning news cycle will continue to be abuzz with this first out-the-gate Town Hall.

For better or worse, indictments or no, Trump is not going anywhere.


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