The CNN Presidential Debate: A Trump Trap?

The inevitable quadrennial debate announcement has been made. There will be two presidential debates, and Donald Trump let Joe Biden set the rules. This time around CNN will host the first, and ABC the second.

And the CNN selection — with the announcement of moderators as CNN’s own Jake Tapper and Dana Bash — raises a curious question.

That would be: Is the selection of CNN a “Trump Trap”? A trap set by the former President himself?

To start, consider the lay of the political land right now.

As this is written, the former president is on trial in New York, the trial in the hands of decided Trump haters. The judge is on record as having contributed to President Biden’s re-election campaign. The judge’s daughter Loren Merchan is a left-wing activist actively involved with a digital marketing and fundraising agency that caters to Democrats. The Manhattan District Attorney who brought this case is an elected Democrat. So too the New York State Attorney General, the latter openly campaigning on a promise to get Trump.

This is all before we get to the Fulton County Democrat DA Fani Willis and the soap opera that is her prosecution of Trump. And not to be left out is the Biden Justice Department’s Special Counsel Jack Smith, prosecuting Trump over the storage of classified documents at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate discovered in a raid on the former President’s home. Notably, President Biden has been revealed to similarly have boxes of classified documents stored, haphazardly, in his Wilmington garage — with, curiously, no surprise raid. He had time to er, “adjust.”

Whatever the legal results are to be, without doubt all of this taken together has backfired, and backfired big time. Look no further than the crowd said to be 100,000 strong that turned out for Trump’s recent appearance in, of all places, the very blue state of New Jersey. 

Then there’s the lineup of Republican members of Congress showing up at the New York courthouse where Trump’s trial is taking place. Suffice to say, any given Member of Congress is a highly political being, and they would never in a blink show up to so obviously support Trump if they thought they would be losing votes by doing so.

All of which is to say, the former President has become the very symbol of a President being targeted by the American political and legal Establishment. And the attacks on him have backfired and backfired big time, politically speaking.

Along with the attacks from the political and legal establishments, so too, famously, has the liberal “mainstream” media targeted Trump. That would decidedly include CNN. And, safe to say, the American people get it and have reacted with a decidedly negative view.

CNN’s ratings have not been good. Leading, among other things, to this barb from the Tonight Show’s Jimmy Fallon, “Biden and Trump will meet on June 27 on CNN, and one of Biden’s debate conditions was not having an audience, so that explains why it’s on CNN.”

Which brings us round to the “Trump Trap” that may be the CNN debate.

Full disclosure: CNN’s Jake Tapper and Dana Bash, the debate moderators, are former colleagues. I like and respect both.

But the point here is what is certainly obvious. There is one video clip after another here at NewsBusters of Jake deriding Trump, calling his presidency a “nightmare” and worse. Dana, plainly, is no Trump fan either. God Bless America — I believe in free speech for Jake, Dana and every other American.

Yet the fact here is that this debate will quickly be seen by millions of Americans as Trump versus not just President Biden, but against two left-leaning, Trump-despising members of the Trump despising “mainstream” liberal media as well. 

In other words, this debate can be seen as being set up as a “Trump Trap.” Putting the former President on a debate stage with, as noted, not one opponent, but three.

And in the current, decidedly heated political environment where Trump’s antagonists at his New York trial as well as his other trials have ignited a tidal wave of support for the former President. His treatment at the hands of Jake Tapper and Dana Bash in this debate could easily do even more of the same.

For Trump, this might be similar to the CNN “town hall” with Kaitlan Collins constantly interrupting — and you know how much CNN staffers and viewers were inflamed over that “platforming” of Trump.

Which means? This debate just may turn out to be a well-planned — by the former President — “Trump Trap”.  Snaring CNN’s anti-Trump moderators and letting them, in full view of millions of Americans, just be their anti-Trump selves. Only adding to the backfire of support for Trump that is already on display, as in New Jersey just the other day.

So prepare the popcorn. This debate will be a fun and instructive night.

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