Trump town hall will test CNN CEO Chris Licht’s disinformation rule

US President Donald Trump looks on during a commercial break during a one-hour live NBC News town hall forum with a group of Florida voters on October 15, 2020 in Miami, Florida, US.

Carlos Barria | reuters

When Chris Licht took over as CEO of CNN last year, he made a promise to viewers.

“The analogy I like to use is some people like the rain, some people don’t like the rain. We should give that space. But we won’t have someone who comes and says it’s not raining, Licht said in an October interview with CNBC.

When Licht made the comment, CNN guests and panelists were talking about people pushing misinformation, such as election fraud lies.

CNN will welcome former President Donald Trump to participate in the town hall on Wednesday. Looks like the Lich broke its own rules. Clearly, CNN has different standards for Trump than for Trump’s spokespeople who cycle through the cable news network as daily guests.

Trump has repeatedly made false claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him. Hundreds of Joe Biden’s supporters violently attacked the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, to prevent Congress from ratifying Joe Biden’s victory after Trump called for it. in a speech “If you don’t fight like hell, you won’t have a country anymore.”

CNN vows to hold Trump accountable during town hall.

“President Trump is the frontrunner for the Republican Party, and despite his unique circumstances, our job is to do what we do best,” a CNN spokeswoman said. “Ask tough questions, follow up, and hold voters accountable to give them the information they need to sort through their choices.”

Inviting Trump to CNN

warner bros discovery CEO David Zaslav and Board Member John Malone opened up about His belief that CNN should be less of an “endorsement network” and more of a down-the-middle news network echoes what Jeff Zucker was in charge during Trump’s years as president.

“They should have,” Zaslav said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Friday when asked about Trump for the town hall. “He’s the Republican frontrunner. He’s got to stay.”

CNN is opting for a live town hall rather than a taped interview with Trump, which can be fact-checked before airing. That would be a safe way to proceed, but live town halls are likely to get higher ratings for CNN, which has been bleeding specter between programming changes.

Trump heavily skewed his media exposure toward the Republican-leaning Fox News during his presidency. he attended a NBC Town Hall, hosted by Savannah Guthrie in October 2020.

CNN is taking notes from the event as it prepares for Trump, according to people familiar with the matter. Guthrie continually challenged Trump on his propensity for pushing false information, telling him at one point, “You’re the president, you’re not like somebody’s crazy uncle.”

The CNN Town Hall will be hosted by Kaitlan Collins, co-anchor of CNN’s new morning show. Collins served as CNN’s chief White House correspondent during the Trump administration.

“We have divided government. We need to hear both voices,” Zaslav told CNBC Friday. “Republicans are on the air on CNN, and Democrats are on the air on CNN. All voices should be heard on CNN.”

WATCH: CNBC’s full interview with Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav