During a CNN Republican town hall on Wednesday, former President Donald Trump doubled down on refuted claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him and continued to deny allegations that he sexually assaulted E. Jean Carroll, who won a civil case against Trump for sexual assault and defamation the day before.

The event was moderated by CNN anchor Kaitlan Collins, who was quick to correct Trump over claims that the 2020 election was rigged.

At times Trump got personal, calling Collins a “nasty person” and revealing supposedly personal details about Carroll that he said his legal team was not allowed to bring up in court.

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Trump had many supporters in the audience, which was made up of undeclared and Republican voters in New Hampshire, who applauded him when he spoke about election fraud and when he made negative comments about Carroll.

He also took an opportunity to attack Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, but took most of his shots at President Joe Biden.

Election fraud

Trump doubled down on accusations that the 2020 election was stolen from him, despite all of the evidence to the contrary, including his campaign losing court cases across the nation related to election fraud.

When asked by a voter at the town hall whether he would stop using “divisive” language on election fraud, Trump said he planned to win in 2024, but wouldn’t say whether he would challenge the election if he lost.

Collins had to repeatedly correct Trump, pointing out that recounts in states like Arizona and Wisconsin showed Trump lost in those states.

On Jan. 6, 2021

Trump said he was “inclined to pardon many” of the people who were convicted of federal offenses for their actions at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. He claimed they couldn’t get a fair trial in Washington, D.C., and compared their actions to Antifa rioters in places like Portland and Minneapolis.

When Collins pressed him on why it took him several hours to ask his supporters to stop attacking Capitol police officers, he said he did, and questioned her timeline.

He also said Vice President Mike Pence “made a mistake” when he refused to overturn the 2020 election results, and said he didn’t think he owed his former vice president an apology.

On civil suit verdict

The town hall came just a day after a Manhattan jury found Trump liable for sexual assault and defamation, ordering him to pay Carroll $5 million.

Trump responded to the decision incredulously, saying he didn’t know who Carroll was and that he did not assault her. He also said he did not believe the jury’s decision would affect voters’ opinions of him.

Economy, inflation and debt

On the economy, Trump said he’d try to bring down high energy prices by drilling for more oil. He criticized Biden for his handling of the economy.

He also said he’d rather see the country default on its debt than for Republicans to agree to raise the amount of debt the country is willing to borrow without getting spending cuts from Biden.


Trump took credit for the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade because he nominated several of the justices who signed on to the decision, but he would not answer a question on whether he would sign a federal abortion ban and would not answer when asked at what point in a pregnancy he would ban abortion.

Immigration and the ending of Title 42

Trump said “millions of people” would come across the border because of the ending of Title 42, which allows border patrol agents to turn migrants away due to public health concerns. He said he would continue a policy like Title 42 even though the COVID-19 emergency ended.

Regarding his earlier policy of separating families at the border, he would not rule out implementing a similar policy during a second term, although he claimed he was just continuing an earlier policy that had been used under President Barack Obama.


Trump repeated his claim that Russia would have never invaded Ukraine if he was president, and said he had spoken about the issue with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He also said he would have the “war settled in one day” if he was reelected.

When Collins asked him if he wanted Ukraine to win the war, he said, “I don’t think in terms of winning and losing, I think in terms of getting it settled.”

He also said Europe should put more money toward the war, and said Putin’s invasion of Ukraine was a “tremendous mistake.”

Criminal investigations

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Over his storage of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, Trump said he had “every right to do it,” and he expressed frustration that his property was raided by federal agents when they did not similarly raid Biden’s home and office after it was revealed that he also had classified documents in his possession.

But Collins pointed out that Biden turned over the classified documents willingly, while Trump did not.

Trump also defended a phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, where he asked him to “find 11,780 votes.”

“I called questioning the election. I thought it was a rigged election,” he said.

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