He will never admit it but possibly for Donald Trump It would have been better to accept the second debate with Joe Biden, even if it was virtual, than to participate in the ‘town hall’ that, not without controversy, NBC offered him for this Thursday in parallel to the one that the Democratic candidate had on ABC. Savannah Guthrie, journalist that before was a lawyer and who was in charge of directing the television hour, was implacable in the interrogation of the president. Also at the time of challenge and counter their false claims, not only in the answers to his questions but also in the ones he gave to the citizens gathered in the impressive Perez Museum of Miami.
The meeting started with 20 minutes moved by incisive questions from the journalist to the president, who opened with the pandemic of coronavirus. Guthrie asked Trump about his own contagion and when was the last time you tested negative. Trump’s refusal to give a clear answer keeps doubts about the lack of transparency from the White House, or whether the contagion was already known when he attended the first debate with Biden or, the next day, a fundraising event in New Jersey.
Guthrie also corrected the president live when he falsely cited a study by the Centers for Disease Control to ensure that 85% of people who use More expensive they get infected. He was ugly that he had not led by his own example and he amended when Trump tried to hide behind an early statement from Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Likewise, when Trump tried to boast that without his Administration’s actions against the pandemic, more than two million Americans would have died, the journalist reminded him that this calculation was the estimate of mortality if absolutely nothing was done. Trump assured that “we are going through the worst”. Casi 218,000 people have died in the US from Covid-19. Cases are climbing again and they are already more than eight million Americans who have infected.
Refusal to convict QAnon
It was just a few moments of incisive questioning and tension, but there were many more. Because although Trump insisted on defending that he has condemned white supremacism, he refused to condemn another dangerous current spreading like another virus: QAnon’s conspiracy theories.
The president said he did not know what they were and when Guthrie was in charge of reminding him that they spread the idea that the Democrats are part of a satanic pedophile network of which Trump would be the savior, the president questioned the journalist’s data. She did not back down. “You know what & rdquor;, Told him.
The president, in any case, put more fuel on a fire that his own government considers dangerous. And in the same way that the message of “stay tuned & rdquor; who launched the far-right group Proud Boys in the first debate with Biden, this time he did so by referring to QAnon saying “I know you fight very hard against pedophilia”. He background conspiracy theory is a lot More serious and makes jump the alarms, partly because several republican candidates with a chance of reaching Congress they have embraced it. QAnon is also spreading its poisonous tentacles in Europe.
“He’s not someone’s crazy uncle & rdquor;
Guthrie also questioned Trump for directly propagating another conspiracy theory against Obama and when the president tried to justify that he had only given a retuit and that “people can decide for themselves & rdquor ;, the journalist replied what no journalist had previously asked her directly:“You are the president, you are not someone’s crazy uncle”.
Likewise, he publicly refuted him for saying that he does not make his taxes public because he is under audit, reminding him that “no law prevents him from doing so.” And after asking her about her unfounded allegations of fraud, the journalist told her “:” There is no evidence that it is widespread and it is sowing doubts about our democracy“.
After those first 20 intense minutes came the question time of several citizenss (which NBC did not select directly but through an outside company, to avoid criticism it received in another recent town hall with Biden, where voters turned out to be very favorable to the Democrat). There Trump could breathe a bit, and even received praise for his smile or as a man “attractive& rdquor; by one of the citizens, but Guthrie remembered again that it was not, as the president had anticipated, “an hour of free television.”
The reporter was in charge on more than one occasion to underline falsehoods or contradictions of the president in your responses. For example, when a citizen asked about plans to provide affordable health coverage and replace the Barack Obama health reform, an unfulfilled promise, Guthrie replied: “He’s been in office for almost four years, he had control of both chambers and there is no replacement yet.”
When question time was over and to dismiss the town hall, Guthrie asked Trump why the Americans should re-elect him and the president answered “because I have done a great job& rdquor ;. The polls will have to decide and, at least according to the polls, they do not agree with his statement.
The NBC network had been widely criticized for giving Trump a space to compete with the town hall of Biden (half an hour longer) when it was the president who caused the second debate to be canceled, rejecting the virtual model imposed by security after its contagion. After 60 minutes, most of those criticisms had evaporated. They only came from the conservative FoxNews, annoyed with the incisive Guthrie. A couple of journalists before her had left two recent interviews of similar style, incisive and with immediate corrections to the president. But this arrives 19 days after November 3.