EP 2152-6PM LIVE: TRUMP vs BIDEN DUELING TOWN HALLS
Trump bashes NBC ahead of his prime-time town hall
The president used an afternoon rally to go after the network’s personalities and claim he was being “set up.”
President Donald Trump sought to tamp down expectations ahead of his town hall with NBC on Thursday night, accusing the news network of setting him up.
“So, you know I'm being set up tonight,” he claimed to supporters at a rally in North Carolina, before deriding the network and its personalities — including the moderator of his upcoming town hall.
“It's NBC, the worst. Home of sleepy eyes Chuck Todd and some others,” Trump said, referring to the “Meet the Press” host.
“They gave Lester Holt — he's a beauty — they gave Joe Biden a week ago a town hall,” Trump said, asserting that “any child” could have answered the kinds of questions Biden fielded from the "Nightly News" anchor, including his 14-year-old son.
“Barron Trump would do great on that show. Because he's a young child. They asked him questions that a child could answer, any child. A smart child, not such a smart child,” the president said to laughter, calling last week’s town hall a “joke.”
A spokesperson for NBC declined to comment on Trump's attacks.
Trump then appeared to shrug off his qualms with the network, telling rallygoers that if nothing else, his campaign would get an hour of free exposure across all of NBC’s platforms.
“They asked me if I’d do it, I figured, ‘What the hell? We get a free hour of television,’” he said. Trump then pivoted to Savannah Guthrie, the “TODAY” co-anchor moderating Thursday’s event.
“She's always lovely, isn't she?” Trump mused dryly. “But I figured, why not? What’s the difference in tone between what they did to this guy who can’t put sentences together and what they do with me?”
Trump’s attack comes amid backlash inside the network for offering the town hall to begin with, given that the second presidential debate was planned for Thursday. The debate was thrown into limbo earlier this month with Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis, and the president refused to participate when it was changed to a virtual format.
President Donald Trump will participate in a town hall Thursday hosted by NBC News in Miami, in place of another debate between him and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
The event will be moderated by Today co-host Savannah Guthrie, who will direct a conversation between Trump and Florida voters. It will take place outdoors at the Pérez Art Museum.
Those interested in watching the town hall can tune into NBC at 8 p.m. ET. It will also be available on MSNBC, CNBC, NBC News Now and Telemundo's online platforms. A livestream can also be accessed on NBC's YouTube channel.
NBC officially announced the event on Wednesday, days after the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) cancelled what was meant to be the second presidential debate between Trump and Biden.