(LifeSiteNews) –– During a combative CNN town hall that felt more like a debate with liberal moderator Kaitlan Collins Wednesday night, former U.S. President Donald Trump called for peace in Ukraine so that people will “stop dying,” remarks that have since caused the mainstream media to flip out.
After an agenda-driven Collins pressed him repeatedly about which side he wants to see victorious, Trump replied: “I don’t think in terms of winning and losing. I think in terms of getting it settled so we stop killing all these people.”
President Trump on the Ukraine War: “I don’t think in terms of winning and losing. I think in terms of getting it settled so we stop killing all these people.” pic.twitter.com/5S304y71rF
— MAGA War Room (@MAGAIncWarRoom) May 11, 2023
“They’re dying,” he further exclaimed. “Russians and Ukrainians. I want them to stop dying. And I’ll have that done in 24 hours. You need the power of the presidency to do it.”
Trump’s decision to strike a more diplomatic tone stands in stark contrast to the decidedly pro-Ukrainian, neoconservative outlook that dominates the corporate media and Capitol Hill, where Democrats and Republicans have continually voted to send billions of dollars in so-called “aid packages” and ammunitions to the Vladimir Zelensky-led country over the past several years.
Reaction to Trump’s remarks has predictably fallen along ideological lines. Republican Senator J.D. Vance of Ohio praised him by Tweeting, “This is real statesmanship.”
This is real statesmanship. pic.twitter.com/CItkC8vKi3
— J.D. Vance (@JDVance1) May 11, 2023
Vance, who has already endorsed Trump for president in 2024, represents an emerging strain of populist conservatism that breaks with, among other things, the GOP establishment’s commitment to U.S. interventionism overseas.
Former GOP New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, on the other hand, echoed what many liberal outlets have made their key takeaway from the evening. “Donald Trump refused to say tonight that he wanted Ukraine to win the war with Russia. More proof that he continues to be Putin’s puppet,” he tweeted.
Donald Trump refused to say tonight that he wanted Ukraine to win the war with Russia. More proof that he continues to be Putin’s puppet.
— Chris Christie (@GovChristie) May 11, 2023
A number of media personalities were on the verge of tears following the town hall, which was allegedly cut short due to Trump’s effectiveness at swatting away Collin’s biased questions, which veered into other subjects like abortion, immigration, and the events of January 6.
Former MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann described the broadcast as the “Hindenburg disaster of TV news.” He called for CNN’s CEO Chris Licht to be fired and declared that Collins’ career is now over.
THE HINDENBURG OF TV NEWS:@CNN gave its credibility to Trump’s madness
It must fire CEO Chris Licht: its owners must sell the brand they destroyed; E.Jean Carroll must sue over new defamation; @kaitlancollins must sue her agent
THUR. COUNTDOWN PODCAST: https://t.co/QfCBHz0LU6 pic.twitter.com/cRxkOjb24m
— Keith Olbermann↙️ (@KeithOlbermann) May 11, 2023
MSNBC host Joe Scarborough and CNN reporter Jake Tapper were also emotionally shaken, with both suggesting that the event was dangerous for democracy.
Collins, 31, repeatedly interrupted Trump throughout the telecast, which took place at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire, a key state in the upcoming 2024 Republican presidential primary. At one point Trump called her a “nasty person,” to which the pro-Trump audience broke out in applause. Most polls show Trump has a comfortable lead over his nearest competitor Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, though DeSantis has not announced his candidacy yet.
Ukraine was initially brought up when a student asked Trump if he’d continue Joe Biden’s policy of sending weapons to the war-torn country. Trump explained that he would sit down with leaders from both nations to seek consensus so the fighting would stop.
Putin’s a “smart guy” but “he would have never gone in [to Ukraine] if I was president,” Trump asserted. “And his pipeline would have never [blown up],” a reference to the still unsolved explosion of the Nord Stream gas pipeline in the Baltic Sea, which some have speculated was a false flag carried out by the United States to frame Russia.
Trump also refused to go along with Collins’ characterization of Putin as a war criminal. “If you say he’s a war criminal, it’s going to be a lot tougher to make a deal to make this thing stopped,” he said. He additionally voiced frustration with the growing disparity between the amount of U.S. and foreign dollars being sent to Ukraine. “Now, here’s the problem, we’ve given so far $171 billion. They’ve given — they, meaning [the] European Union, … about $20 [billion]. They’ve got to put up a lot more money because they’re taking advantage of us.”
“Never Trump” GOP strategist Rick Wilson unleashed a profanity-laced tirade on Twitter that seemed to sum up the views of many on the left. CNN has “set a match to democracy,” he complained. This is “bad for every other Republican candidate in the primaries” because “you can’t beat [Trump] on the stage … it’s time to go to work. He’s going to be the nominee.”
At the same time, former Trump adviser Steven K. Bannon expressed great satisfaction with Trump’s performance and the media meltdown it caused.
Steve Bannon Reacts To President Trump’s Dominant CNN Town Hall Performance And The Mainstream Media’s Meltdown
“What has freaked the media out is that MAGA is ascendent. Trump was triumphant. MAGA is ascendant. And they understand we’re going to win the primary, we’re going to… pic.twitter.com/y7IRdBpqqs
— The Columbia Bugle 🇺🇸 (@ColumbiaBugle) May 11, 2023
“What has freaked the media out is that MAGA is ascendent. Trump was triumphant,” he said. “And they understand we’re going to win the primary, we’re going to win the general, and Donald John Trump is going to be the 47th President of the United States.”