CNN anchor Jim Acosta grilled Marc Lotter of the America First Policy Institute about the think tank’s decision to host former President Trump in Washington, D.C., this week, comparing it to Trump “returning to the scene of the crime.”
“Marc I have to ask you, why invite Trump back to Washington after he tried to pull off a coup on Jan. 6?” Acosta asked Lotter on his show over the weekend.
“Well he’s still the leader of the America First movement,” Lotter replied. “The biggest name. He’s the visionary behind many of the policies that got him elected to the White House. And when you look at America right now, so many people are clamoring for that kind of leadership.”
“It’s like he’s returning to the scene of the crime. He incited an insurrection. Why even bring him to Washington?” Acosta pressed Lotter.
“He left as the former president. He left office on Jan. 20, what is going to happen next is entirely up to the voters and the president and any others who might be getting into the race,” Lotter said.
Trump is scheduled to give a keynote address at the America First Agenda Summit on Tuesday, his first public appearance in Washington, D.C., since leaving office.
Over the last several weeks, the select House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riot has laid out a case suggesting Trump incited the mob and failed to act to protect members of Congress from the violence that broke out that day. Some critics have said Trump should be charged with a crime in connection with the events of Jan. 6.
Acosta, who served as CNN’s top White House reporter during the Trump administration, has been sharply critical of the former president on his weekend show, which he started hosting after Trump left office.
Acosta briefly had his press credential pulled by the White House in 2018 after one particularly combative back and forth with Trump, and has since written a book about his experience covering Trump’s White House.