Donald Trump got pilloried by Democrats on social media during his CNN town hall last week, with many prominent Dems — including influential congress members — live-tweeting their dismay at both the former president and the seemingly cozy platform he was gifted by CNN.
And it wasn’t just Democrats either, who thought Trump’s greenlight at CNN was egregious: Republican Meghan McCain said the town hall felt like a “Trump infomercial.”
One result is that all that opposition rage was turned quickly into actionable data points by Trump’s team, Axios now reports, and was delivered to Trump during the commercial breaks. Trump saw he was infuriating the opposition, and so he felt even more unleashed as a result.
Trump was reportedly show tweets by liberal New York Congresswoman (and Trump foe) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who tweeted her outrage at how the audience was cheering Trump’s platforming “election disinformation, defenses of Jan 6th, and a public attack on a sexual abuse victim.”
But Trump was unbowed, indeed encouraged in real-time and after his display, slamming his critiques with his customary taunts and name-calling, belittling Ocasio-Cortez as “neurotic little AOC with the bad looking boyfriend.”
President Trump has released a new statement about CNN and “little AOC with the bad looking boyfriend”.— Laura Loomer (@LauraLoomer) May 15, 2023
He’s really got a way with words… pic.twitter.com/VLakEtvg4E
Seeing the blowback he was causing, the outrage he was fomenting, the anger he stirred up with each repetition of various falsehoods provided fuel for the former president, who interpreted the reactions as assurance that he was hitting his marks.
In Trump’s world, if his performance infuriates his enemies, he is on the right track and he digs in deeper.
The reporting reveals he was shown tweets by AOC, but he could have been shown tweets by any number of Democratic detractors — and also Republicans, like McCain, who have stuck by their Never Trump pledges. All produced real-time data that proved to the Trump team that he was hitting home runs with his base.
Imagine being Donald Trump and hearing, midway through your performance, that you have “staggering gravitational pull“? Pure motivation provided by his adversaries.
“The chaotic performance, which produced a firehose of lies, was a reminder of Trump’s staggering gravitational pull. With him at the center of the political and media universe, there’s virtually nowhere to hide.” https://t.co/P9LeWvCS3c— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) May 13, 2023