After a long hiatus, former President Donald J. Trump will return to CNN.
Mr. Trump, who has openly feuded with CNN hosts and executives over the years, has not appeared on the network since his 2016 presidential campaign. But next Wednesday, May 10, he will appear at a town hall-style forum the network is hosting in New Hampshire.
CNN said that its morning show co-host, Kaitlan Collins, would moderate, and that the former president would take questions from Republicans and independents.
Mr. Trump’s decision to sit for questioning on a network he considers less than friendly represents a shift in his approach with the media. In his post-presidency, Mr. Trump has largely shunned mainstream networks like CNN, preferring to speak with conservative outlets and talk show hosts.
And his on-again, off-again clashes with Fox News have meant he’s been absent from that network’s airwaves for months at a time. Though Fox helped introduce Mr. Trump to a conservative audience in the early 2010s and gave him a powerful platform from which to start his political career, it has also shunned him at times.
He has attacked the network in turn — most recently, he criticized them for firing its star host, Tucker Carlson — and still holds a grudge over its projection on election night in 2020 that he would lose Arizona. Fox was the first network to do so.
His decision to appear on a rival network, CNN, is a signal to Fox, which is a crucial pipeline to Republican primary voters: He doesn’t consider it the only game in town. The move is also a way of drawing a sharp contrast with one of his expected opponents in the race, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, who largely shuts out the mainstream media.
Lately, Mr. Trump has fumed about the release of private emails that show how Rupert Murdoch, chairman of Fox Corporation, expressed derision and contempt for him and his false claims of being cheated in the 2020 election. Those messages were released as part of the defamation lawsuit that Dominion Voting Systems filed against the network for amplifying conspiracy theories that Dominion machines were somehow involved in a plot to steal votes from him and flip them to President Biden.
Mr. Trump lashed out at Mr. Murdoch and Fox for “aiding & abetting the DESTRUCTION OF AMERICA” on his social media platform, Truth Social.
Mr. Trump also plans to skip at least one of the first two debates with his rivals for the 2024 Republican nomination, according to several people familiar with his plans. The first, scheduled for August in Milwaukee, is being hosted by Fox News. He has said he does not want to give the lower-polling G.O.P. candidates the oxygen that a nationally televised debate would provide.
In recent weeks, however, Mr. Trump has started appearing more regularly on Fox News. He has done interviews with three Fox hosts since the end of March. And the network has aired coverage critical of the Manhattan district attorney’s decision to pursue criminal charges against him.
In 2016, coverage of Mr. Trump by outlets outside of the conservative media bubble was crucial to his success. He sat for lengthy interviews with NBC News, The Washington Post, CNN and others. And despite his branding of the mainstream media as the “enemy of the people,” he has long cultivated relationships with a broad variety of reporters.
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