Former President Donald Trump took shots at CNN shortly before he is set to participate in a town hall event hosted by the network in New Hampshire.
“I’ll be doing CNN tonight, live from the great state of New Hampshire because CNN is rightfully desperate to get those fantastic Trump ratings back,” Trump announced in a video statement. “They were ratings like none other and they want them back. They made me a deal I couldn’t refuse.”
After slamming the network that had a largely adversarial relationship with Trump throughout his presidency, the former president framed the town hall event as a way to reverse course.
“Could be the beginning of a new and vibrant CNN with no more fake news, or it could be a total disaster for all, including me,” Trump added before telling viewers to tune in tonight at 8 p.m. ET.
Trump town hall tonight:
"CNN is rightfully desperate to get those fantastic Trump ratings back!" pic.twitter.com/VNJQrDGKJD
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) May 10, 2023
Trump routinely sparred with CNN throughout the duration of his presidency, routinely referring to the network as “fake news CNN.”
Executives have hinted that they wish to shake up the network and include less far-left partisanship, however. CNN has let go of multiple primetime hosts who were known for round-the-clock anti-Trump coverage, the most recent being longtime host Don Lemon.
After being acquired by Warner-Bros Discovery, the network is expected to undergo a massive rebrand under new CEO Chris Licht in June. In addition to a style/format overhaul, Licht reportedly aims to restructure the network into a more “centrist” network, according to a report from Axios.
Licht has asked producers to stop using the phrase “breaking news” so loosely, stating that the term has lost all meaning with how frequently it is deployed by cable news networks. He also discouraged them from referring to election denial as “the big lie” because it is a phrase used by the Democratic Party.