CNN Primetime Trump Fest Was Of Course A Disaster

INSIDE: George Santos ... E. Jean Carroll ... Tommy Tuberville
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`A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.

Don’t Blame Kaitlan Collins

The CNN “town hall” with Trump in New Hampshire was at least as bad as expected for all the reasons that anyone with a brain could have foreseen.

The culprit here wasn’t Kaitlan Collins, who was hopelessly hamstrung by the format. The culprit is the CNN honchos trying to repair its imagined breach with conservative viewers (or is it “its breach with imagined conservative viewers”?). The format doomed the interview from the start. It was a public disservice, a journalistic failure, and repeat of the fundamental misunderstanding of how to cover Trump that has plagued the civic square for going on almost a decade now.

I’m not going to burden you here with a complete recap. If you want one, Aaron Rupar has you covered:

A Total Bloodbath

Reaction to the CNN made-for-TV event was universally caustic:

Jeremy Barr: CNN’s Kaitlan Collins tried, and tried, to rebut Trump’s election lies

Erik Wemple: Donald Trump steamrolls CNN’s town hall

Even Joe Biden Piled On

I Have No Idea What To Say About This

Is Trump recounting her version of events? His own? Does it even matter? WTF:

Maybe Jean Carroll Can Sue Trump For Defamation AGAIN

The former president went on a rage bender on Truth Social over the $5 million E. Jean Carroll verdict.

RIP Family Values Party

Trump’s putative GOP foes give him a pass on Carroll verdict.

So Much George Santos Material!

Our team did a great job unpacking the federal indictment of George Santos. I’m not going to rehash all that again here, but if you want to go deeper on the charges, former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance is there for you.

The George Santos Defense

Facts Beat Fiction Every Time

Fashion Criminal

Someone had to cover the fashion angle to George Santos’ alleged criming.

Still A Lot Of Questions

Mother Jones: Santos Indictment Leaves Many Lies, Mysteries, and Scandals Unaddressed

The Mystery Of Andrew Olson

Does Santos’ current campaign treasurer even exist?

Good Point

Emptywheel: Some Of George Santos’ Alleged Crimes Resemble Trump’s Suspected Crimes

Santos Indictment Not Good For Herschel Walker

The George Santos indictment accuses him of taking what were ostensibly political contributions to his campaign and funneling them to one of his LLCs instead. That sounds awfully familiar after last week’s Daily Beast scoop that failed Senate nominee Herschel Walker (R-GA) had a wealthy donor, who thought he was donating to the Walker campaign, wire more than half a million to a Walker LLC.

Feinstein Back In DC

The senior senator from California will be working a reduced scheduled. It’s not clear how quickly her return will clear up the Senate Judiciary Committee bottleneck on Biden judicial nominations.

Welp …

Asked if white nationalists should be allowed to serve in the military, Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL): “They call them that. I call them Americans.”

Missouri Jumps On The Anti-Trans Bandwagon

The state is poised to enact anti-transgender bans on gender-affirming care for minors and women in sports.

I’d Like To Thank The Academy …

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