Peter Navarro: Two Cheers for CNN’s Trump Town Hall

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This article originally appeared on Peter Navarro Substack and was republished with permission.

It’s been a week since Donald Trump appeared at a CNN town hall and stole the show.  That’s the consensus even in the Leftist of the Left-Wing media.

CNN has taken a beating since from across the corporate media spectrum.  This includes pearl-clutching from many of CNN’s staunchest Never-Trump anchors – think Jake Tapper, Poppy Harlow et al – as well as predictably “anonymous” CNN staffers.  In a companion trend, many in the conservative media are crowing, chest-thumping, and belittling CNN for being so thoroughly dominated by Trump.

Both of these trends are toxic – and we on the Trump side of the fence in particular haven’t really put this event in its appropriate strategic context.

Here, the primary criticism of CNN from the Left is that the debate moderator allowed Trump to lie to the American people, principally about the integrity of the 2020 election.  Here, it remains corporate media dogma – at the RINO Fox News network as well — that the 2020 election was fair and “no evidence” of fraud has ever been found.

In fact, there is substantial evidence – if only the corporate media were willing to look.  Here, it is useful to remember that exactly 60 years before the 2020 election, the Democrats and John F. Kennedy stole the election from Republican Richard Nixon, yet it took more than 30 years for this country to acknowledge that truth.

In this case, I conducted an exhaustive investigation involving more than 5,000 affidavits, interviews, and thousands more pages of analyses.  The results were published in a three-volume report which showed the 2020 election was indeed rigged both through outright fraud and more gray area chicanery like the relaxation of ballot and signature verification procedures in key battleground states.

To date, no analysis has come forward that would lead me to any other conclusion.  Instead, films like Dinesh D’Souza’s “2000 Mules” and Dave Bossie “Rigged” have provided damning new evidence that moves the stolen election narrative well beyond the realm of reasonable doubt.

In addition, the theft of the Arizona governor’s race from Republican Kari Lake through the suppression of Republican votes on Election Day remains arguably the most blatant example of such thievery in modern history.

Here, this also must be said: Those pompous blow-dried anchors in the corporate media who continue to insist Trump is a liar are the very same ones who told us with straight faces that Hunter Biden’s laptop from Hell was a Russian disinformation campaign, the Russia Hoax was real, and the Fauci jab was “safe.”

As for the conservative media rush to belittle CNN, I understand the short run tactical benefit of kicking an enemy when it appears down.  Strategically, however, wouldn’t the far better long game approach be to show a little humility here and a little praise for Chris Licht and the new leadership at CNN willing to give both peace and Trump a chance.

Here’s what I wrote in My Taking Back Trumps America book on this very point: “Boss, you may want to pursue a policy of détente with CNN leading up to the 2024 election.  With Never Trumpers Jeff Zucker and Chris Cuomo gone in a cloud of sex scandals, with Zucker’s replacement Chris Licht talking about a return to straight news, and with Liberty Media’s John Malone publicly denouncing CNN for its Woke content and bias – Liberty has a big stake in CNN –  there may  be an opportunity here.”

Last week, President Trump seized that opportunity in Trumpian fashion.  Yet, if all the new leadership of CNN gets is angry backlash from the Left and chest-thumping from the Right, last week’s triumph will either be a one and done event with a long time to go before the 2024 election OR in any subsequent CNN outings, Trump will face a withering unfair attack.

So why not encourage CNN to get back to its non-partisan roots. Circa 1980, Ted Turner seized upon technological change in the broadcasting industry to found CNN.  Conservative, though he was, Turner played it straight down the middle; and through a brilliant fusion of technology and innovation, Turner built a global empire the envy of the journalism world.

Today, the biggest danger to a Trump 2024 presidential victory is not CNN and other Woke networks who wear their Never Trumpism on their teleprompters.  Rather, it is a RINO-infested, subtly subversive Fox News.  Far too many Republicans still wrongly believe that Fox supports Donald Trump and find themselves on the end of the Never-Trump propaganda cable cord.

At the Trump White House, I was one of the very few who was both willing to go on CNN to reach across the aisle and who thought it was a good idea.  Today, I remain convinced of that and accordingly, here’s at least two cheers for CNN for at least one night.

Peter Navarro served as Trump’s chief China Hawk and manufacturing czar. To receive new posts and support for his work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber at


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