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CNN Revolt: Besieged Boss Chris Licht 'Facing Fury of Criticism' From Staff After Trump Town Hall

chris licht facing fury of criticism cnn trump town hall pp
Source: Xavier Collin/Image Press Agency / MEGA; Ron Sachs - CNP / MEGA

May 11 2023, Published 12:30 p.m. ET

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CNN staffers have turned on Chris Licht following its controversial town hall with former President Donald Trump, RadarOnline.com has learned, questioning why the exec allowed the "spectacle of lies" to be aired.

Senior media reporter Oliver Darcy gave kudos to CNN This Morning host Kaitlan Collins, who moderated the Q&A and fired back at points to fact-check Trump.

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chris licht facing fury of criticism cnn trump town hall
Source: MEGA

"It's hard to see how America was served," Darcy penned in a Reliable Sources newsletter.

Darcy praised Collins, stating that she was given "an impossible task" and "put in an uncomfortable position" because the crowd was filled with Republicans who laughed at Trump's jokes and applauded him throughout the 70-minute event.

"Trump fired off falsehoods at a rapid clip while using his bluster to overwhelm Collins," wrote Darcy. "Trump lied about the 2020 election. He took no responsibility for the January 6 insurrection that those very lies incited. And he mocked E. Jean Carroll's allegations of sexual assault, which a jury found him liable for."

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chris licht facing fury of criticism cnn trump town hall
Source: MEGA
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During the town hall on Wednesday, the GOP frontrunner claimed the United States was being ruined by "stupid people," also suggesting the U.S. should default on its debt if the White House does not agree to Republican spending cuts.

While touching on several topics, Trump vowed to end the division between Russia and Ukraine and said the overturning of Roe v. Wade was "a great victory" but did not say whether or not he would support a federal ban on abortion if he is president.

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chris licht facing fury of criticism cnn trump town hall
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Darcy described it as a repeat of 2016, explaining it felt as though "Trump's unhinged social media feed was brought to life on stage."

Since then, it was claimed the network and CEO have been subject to a "flurry of criticism" both within the company and externally over the event.

Darcy said how CNN proceeds will be crucial for its reputation in the Licht era, whose network overhaul included massive layoffs and internal changes in the wake of Jeff Zucker's firing.

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chris licht facing fury of criticism cnn trump town hall
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Despite the backlash, the network has stood by its decision to cover the event.

"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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