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Samantha Putterman
By Samantha Putterman May 19, 2023

CNN didn’t decide to remove live audiences from future town halls after Donald Trump event

If Your Time is short

  • CNN didn't make such an announcement.

  • The network confirmed the claim was fabricated. 

After CNN hosted a raucous town hall with former President Donald Trump before an audience of invited Republicans, the network was criticized for giving the presidential candidate an unfiltered platform to spread falsehoods about the 2020 election and the Jan. 6, 2021 U.S. Capitol attack.

But the fallout hasn’t prompted the network to remove its live audience from future events, as some on social media said.

"CNN announces today there will be no more live audiences at town halls," a May 12 Facebook post said. "The Man broke CNN."

The post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.) We also saw the claim shared May 11 on Twitter

But it’s not accurate. A search of CNN’s press releases showed no such announcement. We also couldn’t find anything that mentioned this on the network’s website or social media pages.

"These social media posts are entirely fabricated," CNN spokesperson Bridget Leininger told PolitiFact.

Despite the backlash, CNN Chief Executive Officer Chris Licht stood by the town hall, saying in an editorial meeting the next day that the audience reflected the views of "a large swath" of the American population. 

We rate the claim that CNN decided there would be no more live audiences at town halls False. 

RELATED: Fact-checking Donald Trump’s CNN town hall claims on Jan. 6, abortion, Mar-a-Lago documents 

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CNN didn’t decide to remove live audiences from future town halls after Donald Trump event

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