Home » Anderson Cooper Addresses ‘Disturbing’ Trump Town Hall

Anderson Cooper Addresses ‘Disturbing’ Trump Town Hall

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper on Thursday offered up a defense of his employer’s decision to host former President Donald Trump for a town hall event, telling viewers that it was designed to prevent them from “only listening to people you agree with.”

Cooper, like CNN CEO Chris Licht did with staffers earlier in the day, addressed criticisms of the primetime, hour-plus broadcast.

“Many of you are upset that someone who attempted to destroy our democracy was invited to sit on a stage in front of a crowd of Republican voters to answer questions and predictably continued to spew lie after lie after lie,” Cooper said. “And I get it. It was disturbing.”

But Cooper told viewers he also understands that Trump is the GOP frontrunner, as polling has consistently shown. And as for CNN’s audience, which laughed along with Trump several times, “they are your family members, your neighbors, and they are voting.” Many, he added, may end up voting for Trump.

And so the town hall, according to Cooper, showed that a successful Trump campaign “can happen again.” Also, Trump “hasn’t changed,” he noted—a point that some had made to argue against the event happening at all.

“You have every right to be outraged today and angry and never watch this network again. But do you think staying in your silo and only listening to people you agree with is going to make that person go away?” Cooper said of Trump, who, as either a candidate, office holder, or former office holder, has blasted his thoughts out to the public for nearly eight years.

“If we all only listen to those we agree with, it may actually do the opposite. If lies are allowed to go unchecked, as imperfect as our ability to check them is on a stage in real-time, those lies continue and those lies spread,” Cooper continued.

“If you’re angry or upset, I understand. But you have the power to do something about it,” he concluded. “You can actually get involved. You can make a difference, whatever side of the aisle you’re on. After last night, none of us can say, ‘I didn’t know what’s out there. I didn’t know what’s coming.’”