Trump Takes The Stage, Faces Voters At CNN Town Hall


Diana Glebova White House Correspondent
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Former President Donald Trump sat down for a presidential town hall Wednesday night with CNN, answering questions from New Hampshire voters on his policies if reelected in 2024.

Former Daily Caller reporter and CNN host Kaitlan Collins — along with voters — pressed Trump on topics including Jan. 6, his civil suit, the debt ceiling, abortion, the economy, the southern border, Ukraine, classified documents and more. He received applause repeatedly throughout his remarks from the Republican and undeclared voter-filled audience.

Collins began the town hall by asking Trump if he would go back on calling the 2020 election “rigged,” and questioned him on why he didn’t tell Jan. 6 protesters to stand down once they stopped being “peaceful.” (RELATED: ‘We Have To Live Up To The Constitution’: Trump Clarifies Comments On ‘Termination Of All Rules’)

The former president insisted that the election was “rigged,” and said he gave California Rep. Nancy Pelosi the opportunity to station 10,000 National Guard troops to protect the Capitol, which the then-House speaker declined.

He also said he did not owe then-Vice President Mike Pence an apology because “he did something wrong,” and that he would pardon a “large portion” of Jan. 6 rioters if elected president in 2024. (RELATED: Trump Says He Will Pardon ‘Large Portion’ Of J6 Rioters)

Trump continued to refer to the 2020 election being stolen during the question and answer session.

“The election was not rigged, Mr. President, you cannot keep saying that all night long,” Collins pressed back.

The pair sparred back and forth throughout the interview, with Trump calling Collins a “nasty person” after they interrupted each other while speaking about Trump’s classified documents at Mar-a-Lago.

A voter asked the former president what he would do to lower economic costs if elected into office.

“Drill baby, drill,” Trump responded.

On debt, Trump told Republicans to stand firm on demanding spending cuts, even in the wake of default. Democrats “will absolutely cave” with that strategy, Trump said, adding that a default is better than “spending money like drunken sailors.”

He affirmed his commitment to protecting the Second Amendment and proposed hardening schools with greater security measures and dealing with the country’s mental health crisis.

“There’s been nobody that’s protected the Second Amendment as you know like I have. I’ve protected it through thick and thin — not easy to do. But we have a very big mental health problem in this country. And again, it’s not the gun that pulls the trigger, it’s the person that pulls the trigger. And we have to protect our Second Amendment,” Trump said. 

He would not say if he would sign a federal abortion ban into law, insisting he would “negotiate so people are happy.”

“People that will kill a baby in the ninth month or the eighth month or the seventh month or after the baby is born, they’re the radicals, not the pro-life,” he continued. 

The former president refused to say if he wanted Ukraine to win the war against Russia, maintaining that he would solve the war in “24 hours,” and that the war would not have broken out under his presidency. He said that Russian President Vladimir Putin made a “tremendous mistake” by going into Ukraine.

On immigration, he said he would not rule out re-implementing the policy of separating families at the border.

“If a family hears they’re going to be separated, they love their family, they don’t come,” Trump said. 

He concluded by saying he would accept the results of the 2024 election if it was “an honest election.”

“If I think it was an honest election, I would be honored to … If I don’t win, this country’s going to be in big trouble. It’s so sad to see what’s happening,” Trump said.