Critics slammed the network as “shameful” for even hosting the event, which Cooper admitted was “disturbing” and “awful.” He also said it was “disturbing” to hear the audience “laugh and applaud his lies.”
“Many of you think CNN shouldn’t have given him any platform to speak, and I understand the anger about that,” Cooper said. “But this is what I also get: The man you were so disturbed to see and hear last night? That man is the front-runner for the Republican nomination for president.”
Cooper then pushed back at critics who don’t want to hear from Trump ― and don’t want CNN giving him the platform.
“Do you think staying in your silo and only listening to people you agree with is going to make that person go away?” he asked. “If we all only listened to those we agree with, it may actually do the opposite.”
CNN’s critics are pointing out that Trump’s behavior is perfectly consistent with everything he’s said and done since announcing his first run for president in 2015 ― and that all CNN did was give him a prime-time platform to continue to spread those lies.
They called out Cooper and the network on Twitter: