EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., said he was “frustrated” after a CNN panel in which he was repeatedly interrupted Wednesday, comparing him to network town hall with former President Donald Trump.
“I’m kinda frustrated, because, I’m like, we just watched, you know, Kaitlan Collins do this to Donald Trump. Now you’re trying to do this to me,” Donalds told Fox News Digital in an interview. Zoom. “Is this the status quo, is this the norm? Instead of letting someone speak their whole mind and then having a question, or an answer, or whatever?
“It was a little frustrating, but I was glad to be there, because I think it’s important for, you know, Americans to see real debate, real dialogue, and not just a party. love during these round tables,” he said.
Donalds argued there is a need for conservatives like him to appear in media that doesn’t necessarily align with their views – and called on President Biden to appear on Fox News, which he has yet to done as Commander-in-Chief.
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“Would Joe Biden go on Fox?” Donald posed. “I don’t know. I think he should, by the way. I think it will bring some of that dialogue that I think is needed for the country.”
He even added that it was “good” for Trump to appear on CNN on Wednesday, despite Donalds concerns that Collins interrupted the former president with fact-checking attempts.
“I think it was really good for President Trump to be in that environment and to have someone challenge him, I just think she went too far with that,” Donalds said.
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Donalds appeared on CNN after Trump’s town hall to respond to what many media outlets called a disaster for the network. In a now-viral clip, the show’s analysts and hosts repeatedly interrupted Donalds when he defended the former president, mostly about Collins’ live fact-checking.
“Let him finish his statement, and then if you want to ask a counter question to check the facts in quotes, that’s fine,” the congressman said. “But to just come up with statements, when frankly, to be honest, the press usually doesn’t have all the facts, or they have their views on what happened, to constantly intervene, now you have a situation where you are competing with the candidate.”
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Asked about concerns expressed by some of his fellow Republicans that Trump’s performance on CNN might have hurt him in the overall race, despite perhaps winning a few GOP primary voters, Donalds replied firmly, “I don’t I don’t agree with that”.
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“I think what’s going on in this town hall itself is okay in terms of, it makes him stronger for primary fights,” he said. “But at the end of the day, the presidential election is a choice between two candidates. It looks like Joe Biden is going to be their candidate, I guess he will be. It looks like Donald Trump is going to be our candidate. At that point , voters must choose between one of two gentlemen.