In an appearance on MSNBC shortly after CNN held a town hall with former Republican President Donald Trump on Wednesday night, New York Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez railed against the network for hosting a man who continued to spread "election disinformation" during the broadcast.
Trump reiterated his baseless, repeatedly disproven assertions the 2020 election was tainted by fraud, expressed empathy towards the individuals who stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021 and derided journalist E. Jean Carroll as a "whack job" during the recent town hall meeting.
Trump made his remarks merely a day after a jury ruled he had committed sexual abuse against Carroll in the 1990s and subsequently smeared her reputation by mocking her experience. Carroll accused Trump of assaulting her in the dressing room of a Bergdorf Goodman department store.
Ocasio-Cortez criticized Trump for attacking Carroll, saying his taunts were “a continued demonstration” of the sacrifices survivors of sexual abuse make to “come forward and challenge power.”
You can hear what she said in the video below.
"What we saw tonight was a series of extremely irresponsible decisions that put a sexual abuse victim at risk...in front of a national audience, and I could not have disagreed with it more. It was shameful."
“What we also saw tonight was the consequence of doing that. They sacrifice their anonymity, they sacrifice their safety, and they sacrifice all of this because we continue to live in a society where an overwhelming amount of structures allow this abuse to happen and find it permissible.”
[of the town hall]"I think it was a profoundly irresponsible decision. I don’t think that I would be doing my job if I did not say that.”
She also took aim at both Trump and CNN on Twitter by declaring that CNN "should be ashamed of themselves," adding:
“They have lost total control of this ‘town hall’ to again be manipulated into platforming election disinformation, defenses of Jan 6th, and a public attack on a sexual abuse victim. The audience is cheering him on and laughing at the host.”
This falls squarely on CNN. Everyone here saw exactly what was going to happen. Instead they put a sexual abuse victim in harm’s way for views."
"This was a choice to platform lies about the election [and] Jan 6th [with] no plan but to have their moderator interrupted without consequence."
You can see her tweets below.
CNN's town hall was a calculated affair, Ocasio-Cortez later suggested, observing that there is "simply no way" it "can feign ignorance about the fact that they set up a sexual assault victim to be targeted and attacked on national television a day after the verdict."
"People were sounding the alarm about this exact scenario. They let it happen anyway without a plan."
"This, the choice to platform election disinformation, lies about January 6th, totally unchecked and reckless claims about abortion… they need to take ownership of what just happened. This cannot be normalized. It’s dangerous."
You can see her tweets below.
Many concurred with Ocasio-Cortez's assesment.
A considerable portion of the town hall attendees seemed amicable towards Trump and responded with laughter to his taunts and slurs. CNN had previously indicated that the audience consisted mainly of Republicans and unaffiliated New Hampshire voters with Republican leanings.
However, despite maintaining strong support within the GOP constituency, Trump has proven to be a divisive figure among independent voters and those susceptible to persuasion. This sentiment has been consistently reflected in numerous surveys and polls.
Moreover, Republicans have faced significant setbacks in the past three election cycles when endorsing candidates supported by Trump, resulting in detrimental consequences for the party as a whole.