Fox News town hall with Trump draws 4.2 million viewers

Fox News's town hall with President TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump pitches Goya Foods products on Twitter Sessions defends recusal: 'I leave elected office with my integrity intact' Former White House physician Ronny Jackson wins Texas runoff MORE delivered 4.2 million viewers, making it the most-watched town hall of the 2020 campaign cycle, according to early data from Nielsen Media Research. 

MSNBC was second in total viewers during the time slot with 1.44 million total viewers, followed by CNN's 1.03 million. 

The Trump event moderated by "Special Report" anchor Bret Baier and "The Story" anchor Martha MacCallum from Scranton, Pa., also delivered 744,000 viewers in the 25- to 54-year-old demographic sought by advertisers, topping rivals CNN and MSNBC combined, which registered 251,000 and 239,000 viewers in the category, respectively. 

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The event with Trump surpassed the previous high for a town hall this cycle, when 2.6 million viewers tuned in to Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden aspires to become America's auto-pen president Progressive Mondaire Jones wins NY primary to replace Nita Lowey OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden pledges carbon-free power by 2035 in T environment plan | Trump administration has been underestimating costs of carbon pollution, government watchdog finds | Trump to move forward with rollback of bedrock environmental law MORE (I-Vt.) in April 2019.

The ratings are still well below Democratic presidential debates: Nearly 20 million viewers tuned in to the debate in Las Vegas, just days before the Nevada caucuses. 

 
Sanders will again be taking part in a Fox News town hall on Monday from Detroit ahead of a crucial primary in Michigan.

At his town hall, Trump made headlines after being asked by MacCallum about the national debt, which has continued to rise during his term. 

"If you don't cut something in entitlements, you'll never really deal with the debt," MacCallum noted.

"Oh, we'll be cutting," the president quickly replied. "We're also going to have growth like you've never seen before."
 
Democrats pounced on the remark to argue that Trump would threaten safety net programs if reelected. 
 
Trump attempted to walk back the remark Friday in a tweet to his more than 73 million followers. 
 
"I will protect your Social Security and Medicare, just as I have for the past 3 years. Sleepy Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden campaign slams Trump's Rose Garden event as 'sad affair' New shutdowns add to Trump woes CNN cuts away from Trump's 'campaign-type' Rose Garden speech MORE will destroy both in very short order, and he won’t even know he’s doing it!," he tweeted. 
 
The Trump town hall marks the 11th town hall of the 2019-2020 campaign season.