Chris Christie Accuses CNN of Going ‘in the Tank’ to Get Trump on Air
Former New Jersey GOP governor claims CNN let Trump pack its town hall audience with supporters
Former GOP New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie complained Sunday that CNN essentially sold its soul to get Donald Trump on the network for a controversial "town hall" meeting last week.
He was particularly incensed that the entire audience appeared to be made up of Trump supporters.
Host Kaitlan Collins announced at the start of the event that everyone in the audience was a Republican or an "undeclared voter." She didn't mention Democrats, which would seem to bend the typical definition of a town hall meeting.
“As to the audience reaction, let’s face it, CNN went in the tank to get Trump on there,” Christie said on ABC’s “This Week.”
"They allowed him to negotiate who was going to be in that audience. Those were all Trump supporters, I don’t care how they introduced them," he added.
"In the main, 80% or so were Trump supporters. So that was a negotiation deal that Trump did with CNN, and I think CNN was wrong for doing it," said Christie, who noted that he recognized a number of strong Trump supporters in the crowd.
Collins insisted at the start of the town hall that "we agreed to no conditions," and that "no questions are off the table." But all questions from the audience were soft-ball queries.
Trump's appearance sparked massive criticism for his repeated lies about a rigged election, and for mocking E. Jean Carroll as a "whack job" with a "false" story a day after a jury found Trump had defamed and sexually abused her. The audience laughed at those comments.
Collins challenged Trump a number of times.
At one point she told him: “The election was not rigged, Mr. President. You cannot keep saying that all night long.” But he did, and at one point called her a "nasty" woman.
Christie, a once devoted Trump supporter, has become a harsh critic of the former president. He's reportedly considering a run for the presidency, but hasn't yet said anything definitive.
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