The audience's reaction during the CNN town hall in New Hampshire with former President Donald Trump shows the influence he still has on the Republican Party, CNN's John King said.
"Look, he is who he is, and he is who he was in the sense that, as you said, within the first minute, he told his first lie," King said of the former president. "I think one of the stunning things to see, though, in the sad laughter — when he was mocking E. Jean Carroll — from the audience (demonstrating) the hold he has on the Republican Party. And so, welcome to the Trump paradox."
King noted CNN reached out to Republican undeclared voters in New Hampshire to participate in the town hall, showing that the response was "an honest reflection of Republican beliefs in New Hampshire."
He added: "(Trump) is, by far, and away, the Republican front runner. Nobody votes for, what, seven months? So, there's time to see. But he has this enormous grip on the Republican Party. He knows that. He is celebrating it. That's why he mocked (Florida Gov.) Ron DeSantis and the others. But there is zero evidence, and you just saw it on live TV, that he wants to change, will think about changing, even for strategic reasons."