Pardoning Capitol Protestors And Ukraine, Ever since Donald Trump left office in January 2021. He has stayed in a cocoon of right-wing social media and his rally crowds of devoted supporters. But the former president, who is running again in 2024. Walked outside that cocoon on Wednesday for a 90-minute town hall event on CNN.
His appearance on the cable news source, which he has frequently branded fake news, was at times tumultuous, and anyone who followed him. As he blazed a road to the White House in 2016 would have been familiar with it. It also occurred just one day after a jury in New York found him. Guilty of sexually abusing the author E. Jean Carroll at a department store in New York about three decades ago. The verdict was handed down the day before.
Here are six key points that emerged from the discussion.
A man who can’t let 2020 go
A live audience comprised of Republicans and several independents participated in the event. Chaired by CNN host Kaitlan Collins and featured a live audience. As he entered, everyone stood up to give him a standing ovation.
The first question Ms Collins posed to the former president was open-ended: why should Americans give him another chance to run for president? Instead of responding by levelling criticism at Democratic Vice President Joe Biden or explaining the planks of his campaign, he immediately began an assault on the next election in 2020.
He repeated allegations that had been proven false, such as stuffing ballot boxes and voter fraud. He referred to the election as “rigged.” When Ms Collins retaliated, he said she was intelligent enough to know better and accused her of having a hidden motive.The lengthy exchange provided further evidence that the primary driving force behind Mr Trump’s campaign for the presidency in 2024 continues. To be a desire to relitigate the results of his loss in 2020. It is the one thing he is incapable of letting. Even though this may be music to the ears of his devoted supporters, voters in general elections, and even some Republican primary voters, may be hoping to move on.
Mocking the E Jean Carroll case
Mr Trump was questioned explicitly about the judgement handed down on Tuesday in the civil case involving E. Jean Carroll. He was forced to pay around $5 million (£4 million) in damages for sexual abuse and slander.
Even though a photo of the two of them together emerged, he continually denied having any contact with the writer. “I am not familiar with her. “I was completely unaware of who she is,” he stated.
After that, the people in the audience in New Hampshire chuckled as he made fun of Ms Carroll’s assertion and referred to it as “fake news.”
While Ms Collins persisted in questioning the former president for answers on various issues during the event – to the point where he became so flustered that he branded her a “very nasty person” – it was abundantly evident that the audience was on his side.
They were a living, breathing reflection of the influence Mr Trump continues to have over the Republican Party – and the challenges his opponents will face in trying to pull the 2024 candidacy from his clutches.
After the discussion forum, the former president told those in attendance, “I like you guys.” Both parties shared the feeling.
A debt ceiling default ultimatum
To prevent a default on the national debt, Pardoning Capitol Protestors And Ukraine, Republicans and Democrats in Washington are currently engaged in contentious negotiations over extending the statutory limit on the government’s ability to borrow money.
On the other hand, Mr Trump suggested on Wednesday night that jumping over the “debt cliff” for the first time in the history of the United States would be a necessary step if Republicans cannot get the broad expenditure cuts they need.
“If they don’t give you massive cuts, you’re going to have to default,” he told her.
This view is shared by sure conservative Republicans in Congress, who think that the United States is currently on a path that would inevitably result in a default and a catastrophe if reforms to the budget are not implemented.
“You’re going to default eventually anyway,” he warned me, “but it’s going to be much messier.”
That message will resonate with some Republicans and strengthen the spines of Republican hard-liners. The chances of an actual default next month – which economists warn would have catastrophic consequences for the US and the world – may have just ticked up.
I am not picking a side in Ukraine.
Over the past few months, Mr Trump has said that Russia would have never invaded Ukraine if he were president, and if he is returned to office, he will negotiate a settlement in Ukraine within 24 hours.
He repeated those lines on Wednesday. When pressed, however, the former president repeatedly refused to say who he would like to prevail in the Ukraine conflict.
“I don’t think of winning or losing; I think of getting it settled,” he said. “I want everybody to stop dying.”
He added that he thought Russian President Vladimir Putin made a mistake in invading Ukraine but, when asked, would not label him a war criminal.
Surveys show that Republicans are growing increasingly sour on US support for Ukraine’s war effort. The town hall crowd gave repeated and energetic applause for Mr Trump’s lines on Ukraine.
While some Republican officeholders and the Biden administration may pledge continued support for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, it’s increasingly clear a second Trump presidency would mark a decided shift in US policy.
Muddy waters on abortion
Appointing Supreme Court justices who ultimately reversed Roe v. Wade abortion protections was one of Mr Trump’s most notable achievements as president, Pardoning Capitol Protestors And Ukraine, particularly among conservative evangelical voters.
On Wednesday night, Mr Trump took credit for that – but he repeatedly dodged when asked about what he wanted to happen next on the issue of abortion.
Would he support a federal ban? Does he think abortion should be restricted after six weeks of pregnancy, as some Republican states have done? To add to that… Or less?
As often as Ms Collins pressed, Mr Trump wouldn’t give a firm answer, only saying as president, he would consider the issue and do “what’s right for everybody”.
When it comes to abortion, however, no answer will make everybody in America happy.
After Republicans underperformed in the congressional midterm elections last year, Mr Trump said that he thought the issue, and the conservative hard-line positions on it, cost the party votes.
On Wednesday night, he seemed determined to keep his answers as vague as possible.
Capitol riot pardons
Mr Trump played a video of prisoners awaiting prosecution for the 6 January 2021 attack on the US Capitol singing the national anthem at a recent campaign rally in Texas. Pardoning Capitol Protestors And Ukraine, It alternated between footage of the attack and President Trump reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.
On Wednesday evening, the former president’s sympathies for the attack’s perpetrators grew more pronounced.
He promised to grant amnesty to “many” of those convicted of 6 January crimes. Ashli Babbitt, who was slain while attempting to break into a room near the House of Representatives chamber, was glorified once more. He labelled as a “thug” the Capitol Hill security officer who shot her.
In a broader sense, he defended his actions that day by producing multiple sheets of paper containing statements and tweets that demonstrated he had urged protestors to be nonviolent.
As long as Mr Trump pursues public office, questions about his role in the Capitol riots will follow him.
Numerous Republicans, including officeholders at the Capitol on that day, view it as a gloomy period in American history. Mr Trump’s attempts to recast the events of that day may grate on their nerves.