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Kaitlan Collins Defends Her 'Disastrous' CNN Town Hall with Donald Trump: 'I Did My Homework'

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Jun. 8 2023, Published 6:45 p.m. ET

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CNN anchor Kaitlan Collins defended her "disastrous" town hall with embattled Republican frontrunner Donald Trump, RadarOnline.com has learned.

The budding primetime anchor hit back against critics who trashed her performance and accused the CNN talent of allowing Trump free rein on the network's broadcast.

While the event took place weeks ago, mere days after a civil jury found Trump liable for sexual abuse and defamation against ex-columnist E. Jean Carroll, Collins and CNN continued to face backlash over the decision.

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Collins appeared as a guest on political analyst David Axelrod's podcast, The Axe Files. During their sit-down, Collins discussed her career — and the infamous primetime event with Trump.

Axelrod applauded Collins and told her he thought she "hung in there in a remarkable way" and noted she was probably "not immune to the criticism that followed."

The podcast host then asked how Collins handled "a setback like this."

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"Now you see a really kind of unflattering coverage. How did you process that?" Axelrod asked Collins. "Had you ever had these — a setback like this?"

Collins told Axelrod that despite criticism of the town hall, she didn't consider the event "a setback."

"I don’t view it as a setback," Collins explained. "I totally understand that there was a lot of criticism and thoughts on how it was handled and what it looked like."

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The CNN anchor noted that she thought it was "important to hear from the Republican front-runner." Axelrod rephrased his question to consider "national critiques" that were hurled Collins' way.

"I’m asking you as a human being. Was that tough to read some of that stuff?" Axelrod pressed his guest.

"I think that I did the best job that I could do," Collins confessed. "I spent weeks preparing for that. I watched past town halls, past debates. I did my homework."

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Collins diplomatically noted that viewers were "entitled to their own reaction" to the broadcast.

"My question for me at the end of the day is, do I think that I did the best job that I can do? And how do I feel about my performance in that? And I felt like I did the best job that I could do…I went into it fully prepared," Collins added.

"I was prepared for what — how he was going to respond to that and what that was going to look like. And I think that was the best that I could do."

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