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MSNBC Host Calls Out CNN's Hypocrisy After Trump's Blatant Sexism During Town Hall

Nicolle Wallace skewered CNN for allowing Trump to get away with the very thing they fired Don Lemon for.

MSNBC screenshot of Nicolle Wallace; Donald Trump
MSNBC; Spencer Platt/Getty Images

In a recent episode of MSNBC's Deadline: White House, host Nicolle Wallace and her panelists took aim at CNN for their decision to host a town hall event featuring former Republican President Donald Trump. The show's discussion primarily revolved around the criticism of Trump's repeated lies and the enthusiastic support he received from the audience.

Wallace highlighted how Trump seemed to exert complete control over the conversation during the event, noting he decided when and what topics would be discussed. She expressed dismay at the "cacophony of lies" Trump propagated on the stage and his derogatory attacks on writer E. Jean Carroll, who had previously accused him of rape.

While the jury found him liable for sexual abuse and defamation in a civil case, Trump continued to disparage Carroll as a "whack job" during the town hall.

Interestingly, Wallace drew attention to CNN's recent controversy involving misogyny, specifically mentioning the departure of anchor Don Lemon.

Lemon's termination followed a misogynistic comment he made on his broadcast, which was deemed unacceptable by network management. Wallace pointed out the irony of CNN's decision to air Trump's misogynistic attacks on Carroll, given their recent public condemnation of Lemon's behavior.

You can hear what Wallace said in the news segments below.

Wallace said:

"CNN recently very publicly parted ways with Don Lemon. It came in the aftermath of a comment he made that was viewed by his managers as misogynistic. Those very same managers are the people who aired Trump’s misogynistic attacks last night on E. Jean Carroll that could invite further defamation suits." ...
“There’s also something self-loathing about it. A company that’s so brazen with its hypocrisy. It’s just parted ways with Don Lemon and then it platforms the misogyny a day after a jury of Trump’s peers found him liable.”

Wallace went on to quote Trump from the town hall and described his response as "word salad":

“Here is part of what Trump said that is almost certainly being reviewed by lawyers today."
"Quote, ‘I never met this woman. I never saw this woman.’ He goes on to say, ‘What kind of a woman meets somebody and brings them up and within minutes, you’re playing hanky-panky in a dressing room, ok? I don’t know if she was married then or not.'”

Many concurred with Wallace's assessment and echoed her criticisms of CNN.

Lemon, a prominent figure at CNN for 17 years, expressed his surprise and disappointment at being fired.

His dismissal followed a string of controversies, including his remark about Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley being past her "prime." Variety magazine subsequently published a detailed report highlighting a pattern of misogynistic behavior and other troubling incidents involving Lemon.

In defense of CNN's decision to host the Trump town hall, Anderson Cooper took the stage on Thursday night.

Acknowledging the anger and criticism directed at the network, Cooper argued the event provided insight into the current front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination.

Cooper countered the idea of ignoring voices like Trump's, suggesting engaging with differing viewpoints was essential for fostering understanding and affecting change.