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CNN Rigs Debate Against Trump?

CNN has come to the defense of two of its prominent anchors who are set to moderate the first general election presidential debate on Thursday, following criticism from former President Trump’s campaign and its representatives.

The controversy erupted after a heated exchange on Monday between CNN morning show host Kasie Hunt and Trump campaign spokesperson Karoline Leavitt. Leavitt criticized moderator Jake Tapper, accusing CNN of choosing debate moderators with a long history of biased coverage against Trump. Hunt ended the interview abruptly in response to Leavitt’s remarks.

Following a wave of criticism from Trump supporters on social media, CNN released a statement on Monday afternoon supporting Tapper and his co-moderator, Dana Bash. The network highlighted the extensive experience and credibility of both journalists.

“Jake Tapper and Dana Bash are well-respected veteran journalists who have covered politics for more than five decades combined,” CNN stated. “They have significant experience moderating major political debates, including CNN’s Republican Presidential Primary Debate this cycle. There are no two individuals better equipped to co-moderate a substantial and fact-based discussion, and we look forward to the debate on June 27 in Atlanta.”

For years, Trump has accused CNN of bias, frequently labeling the network and mainstream media as “fake news.” This week, some of his supporters suggested that the upcoming debate would be unfairly biased against him. Trump’s contentious relationship with CNN includes a heated town hall last summer, where he promoted unproven theories about the 2020 election and repeatedly clashed with moderator Kaitlan Collins.

Thursday night’s debate is a crucial moment for CNN, which has faced declining ratings and internal challenges, including changes in executive leadership and editorial strategy over the past two years. This debate, the first of two scheduled for this year, will be an opportunity for CNN to demonstrate its commitment to fair and balanced journalism. The second debate is scheduled for September and will be hosted by ABC.

The upcoming debate serves as a test for both the network and the moderators as they navigate the complexities of moderating a highly anticipated and potentially contentious political event.

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