Former president Donald Trump is to make a rare live appearance on CNN, the network he spent years denouncing while in the White House


  • Trump said that the Roe v. Wade ban happened because he appointed the Supreme Court justices
  • He declined to say if he believes Putin is a war criminal
  • The former president called columnist E. Jean Carroll a 'whack job'

Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday participated in a live town hall on CNN where he again pushed false claims about the 2020 elections, lashed out at the woman who accused him of rape and repeated arguments that the Russia-Ukraine war would not have happened had he still been the president.

The town hall event happened in New Hampshire and marked Trump's first appearance on the network since the 2016 presidential campaign. It also came a day after a New York jury found that the former president was liable for sexually abusing and defaming writer E. Jean Carroll.

On Election Fraud

Trump opened the town hall by repeating claims that the 2020 elections were "rigged."

"They found millions of votes on camera, on government cameras, where they were stuffing ballot boxes. So with all of that, I think it's a shame what happened. I think it's a very sad thing for our country. I think it's a very sad thing, frankly, for the world, because if you look at what's gotten to our country, our country has gone to hell," he said.

Trump also added that he does not feel he owes former Vice President Mike Pence an apology for putting his life in danger when the rioters stormed the Capitol. He added that Pence "did something wrong" when he refused to overturn the results of the election.

On Abortion

During the CNN town hall, Trump called the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade a "great victory" and touted that the ban was only accomplished because of the justices he appointed while he was president.

"It was such a great victory and people are starting to understand it now," he said, adding, "Getting rid of Roe v. Wade was an incredible thing for pro-life because it gave pro-life something to negotiate with. For 50 years this has been going on. I was able to do it and I was very honored to do it."

Trump went on to note that he supported legal exceptions to the ban, including rape, incest and when the pregnancy puts the mother's life at risk. However, the former president dodged a question on whether he would sign a federal abortion ban if he is elected president again in 2024.

On Russian President Vladimir Putin

Trump declined to say if he believes Putin is a war criminal amid Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine. He argued that branding Putin a war criminal now would make it less likely for him to end the war in Ukraine.

"If he's going to be a war criminal, people are going to grab him and execute him, he's going to fight a lot harder than he's fighting under the other circumstance. That's something to be discussed at a later day," he added.

Trump also again claimed Putin would never have invaded Ukraine had he still been the sitting president.

When pressed about whether Trump wants Ukraine to win the war, he refused to take sides and instead said he wants everyone to "stop dying."

On E. Jean Carroll

Trump again denied he knew columnist Carroll who alleged the former president raped her in a dressing room at the Bergdorf Goodman department store in the spring of 1996. A nine-member jury this week found Trump liable for sexually abusing and then defaming Carroll when he denied her claim, saying she was making up the rape story to boost sales of her book.

"I don't know her. I never met her. I have no idea who she is," he said, adding that Carroll is a "whack job."

Trump then went on to say he believes the jury's decision on his case with Carroll will unlikely deter women from voting for him in the 2024 election.

On Pardoning Jan. 6 Rioters

Trump said he feels "inclined" to pardon a large portion of the people convicted for their involvement in the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol if he becomes the president following the 2024 election.

"I am inclined to pardon many of them. I can't say for every single one because a couple of them, probably they got out of control," he said. "Many of them are just great people."

He further argued that the Jan. 6 rioters only had "love in their hearts" and stormed the Capitol "because they thought the election was rigged."

Rioters violently stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in an effort to stop the certification of the 2020 election. The insurrection led to the deaths of at least five people.

Former US president Donald Trump is awaiting a verdict in a civil rape trial in New York City