Former President Donald Trump held firm in his beliefs that the 2020 election was rigged, despite CNN anchor Kaitlan Collins repeatedly questioning him as to why he hadn’t publicly acknowledged the loss more than two years after President Joe Biden was announced the winner.
Trump appeared in a live CNN town hall-style interview at St. Anselm College in Goffstown, New Hampshire, where he was questioned by Collins and members of the audience. The crowd included many undecided voters for the 2024 presidential election. It was his first appearance on the network since 2016, and he has often criticized CNN for its “fake news” coverage of topics related to him. Trump, who is the leading GOP candidate for the 2024 race, issued a warning shortly before the interview demanding that CNN respect him and his “Make America Great Again” campaign but almost immediately butted heads with Collins when the interview began.
Collins dived into pressing Trump about some of the topics most concerning to New Hampshire voters. Questions on Trump’s claims that the 2020 election was stolen and the resulting January 6, 2021, siege on the U.S. Capitol were first on the list.
When Trump parroted his previously stated theory that the election had been rigged to favor Biden, Collins pressed him further.
“It was not a stolen election. You and your supporters lost more than 60 court cases on the election,” she said. “It’s been nearly 2 1/2 years. Can you publicly acknowledge that you did lose the 2020 election?”
Trump was steadfast, refusing to publicly acknowledge his loss despite dozens of lawsuits that found no evidence of substantial voter fraud. An undecided voter who backed Trump in 2020 also pressed him on the issue, questioning if the former president would “suspend polarizing talk of election fraud” during his next run for president.
Trump said he would unless he believed election fraud had occurred.
“If I see election fraud, I think I have an obligation to say it. And you know what we went through a short while ago has really put our country in a big problem. I hope to do that. I hope we’re going to have very honest elections,” Trump said.
When asked again if he would stop talking about how the 2020 election was rigged during his 2024 presidential campaign, Trump implied he still firmly believed he won the election in 2020.
“Let’s just win it again and straighten out our country,” he said.
Later in the conversation, Trump again alluded to the 2020 election, saying someone must be “very stupid” to not realize it was a “horrible election.”
Newsweek has reached out to a Trump campaign spokesperson via email for comment.