CNN’s Political Director: Debate ‘Not the Ideal Arena’ for Live Fact-Checking Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump participates in the final presidential debate against Democrat
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Thursday’s presidential debate is “not the ideal arena for live fact-checking” former President Donald Trump, CNN political director David Chalian warned potential viewers Monday.

CNN’s coverage of Trump often includes network personnel attempting to fact-check Trump in real time or trying to fact-check him immediately after live coverage ends.

WATCH — CNN’s Van Jones: “Game Over” if Biden Messes Up at Debate, “This Is the Entire Election”:

CNN’s Kaitlan Collins was widely criticized last year for failing to successfully fact-check Trump during her town hall event. The audience cheered Trump’s performance, while Republicans lauded Trump’s delivery as one of the best by the former president.

Chalian, who believes Trump “doesn’t get the benefit of the doubt on words,” told the New York Times that debate co-hosts Jake Tapper and Dana Bash will use the event to facilitate conversation, which CNN analysts will use to fact-check immediately after the telecast.

The debate is “not the ideal arena for live fact-checking,” Chalian said.

President Donald J. Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden participate in the final Presidential debate on the campus of Belmont University on Thursday, Oct 22, 2020 in Nashville, TN. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

President Donald J. Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden participate in the final Presidential debate on the campus of Belmont University on Thursday, Oct 22, 2020, in Nashville, Tennessee. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

CNN’s aggressive approach was on display Monday when CNN’s Kasie Hunt, a former MSNBC host, suddenly ended an interview with Trump campaign national press secretary Karoline Leavitt after Leavitt highlighted CNN’s Jake Tapper’s long history of criticizing Trump.

Tapper is co-hosting Thursday’s first presidential debate. Here are 11 times Tapper attacked Trump with nasty claims.

The debate could be one of the biggest moments in the 2024 campaign cycle. CNN agreed to allow multiple news networks to simulcast the debate with the network’s on-air watermark remaining on the screen.

The debate comes at a pivotal time for CNN. The network is on track for its lowest-rated month in prime time since 1991, the Times reported, citing Nielsen ratings that showed fewer than 100,000 average viewers a night among adults 25 to 54.

WATCH — Maher: Biden Would Have Avoided Debates if He Was Winning, Trump Wouldn’t Avoid Them:

President Joe Biden plans to be very aggressive during the event, according to a Biden campaign official. Michael Tyler, Biden campaign communication’s director, wrote in a debate strategy memo that Biden will cast Trump as a dictator who wants to “give tax cuts to the ultra-wealthy on the backs of the middle class, and rip away women’s rights.”

Though the debate’s rules favor Biden — as the Biden camp reportedly acknowledges — voters will watch to see if Biden provides cogent answers about the top issues of soaring costs and seemingly endless migration, a Reuters focus group indicated.

Thursday’s 90-minute debate will air at 9:00 p.m. Eastern

Wendell Husebo is a political reporter with Breitbart News and a former GOP War Room Analyst. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality. Follow Wendell on “X” @WendellHusebø or on Truth Social @WendellHusebo.


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