Nobody was safe from Donald Trump’s finger-pointing after the first presidential debate. The Republican candidate blamed debate moderator Lester Holt for hitting him with tougher questions than Hillary Clinton and even theorized that his microphone was faulty during the debate.
Less than 24 hours after the presidential debate aired, many news agencies, including the Washington Post, have agreed that Democratic candidate, and former secretary of State, Hillary Clinton was the clear winner of the event. However, that didn’t stop Trump from criticizing every part of the debate that made him look bad, except for himself.
Trump called into Fox & Friends on Tuesday morning to exchange a few post-debate rumors with the hosts and lampoon the entire debate as being “rigged.”
When asked to rate Holt’s performance during the debate, Trump said he would give him a “C” or “C+.” Trump also praised the way Holt addressed general topics like the economy, but became defensive about Holt’s other line of questioning.
Holt heated up the debate by asking Trump about the candidate’s reputation as a birther, a person who denied or disbelieved that President Barack Obama was actually born in the United States and not Kenya or any other foreign nation. In the weeks leading up to the debate, Trump backpedaled from his original birther claim. The candidate said that the matter was closed, but Trump tried to blame the birther conspiracy on the 2008 Clinton campaign instead of admitting he was wrong.
“You know, when you look at it, you watch the last four questions, he hit me on birther,” Trump said about Holt’s last few questions. Holt also addressed Trump’s racially motivated housing discrimination lawsuit from the 1970s, which Trump also attempted to shrug off on Fox & Friends. “He hit me on a housing deal from many years ago that I settled with no recourse and no guilt. He asked me about that,” Trump said.
Politico reports that although Trump blamed Holt for bringing up the candidate’s history of discrimination, Clinton actually broached the subject during the debate, which caused Trump to respond. Lester Holt actually had nothing to do with that line of questioning.
A big issue with this election season and this debate in particular is that moderators are not supposed to operate as fact checkers. The moderator is simply there to facilitate conversation between candidates and pose the questions.
In the same Fox & Friends interview, Trump accused Holt of going easy on Clinton by not asking her about her shortcomings and scandals including her involvement with Benghazi, Libya, and the possibly questionable actions of the Clinton Foundation.
“Well, he didn’t ask her about the emails at all. He didn’t ask her about her scandals. He didn’t ask her about the Benghazi deal that she destroyed,” Trump commented on Fox & Friends. “He didn’t ask her about a lot of things she should have been asked about. I mean, you know, there’s no question about it. He didn’t ask about her foundation.”
Although Trump is trying to pass the blame, it’s actually his responsibility to grill the other candidate. Clinton knew this going into Monday night’s debate and executed it well. The former secretary of State hit Trump hard on his tax returns, his housing discrimination lawsuit, and even his disparaging comments about women. Trump wants to paint the debate as bias, but in reality the candidate just didn’t bring the same energy Clinton had.
The presidential debate wasn’t the first time Trump has cried foul play. The candidate has been accusing the media of bias for months. Trump even quipped that CNN actually stood for the “Clinton News Network.” On a larger scale, Trump has already begun preparing in case he loses the presidential election. The New York businessman has said that he believes that the race is fixed and that he’s being discriminated against because he’s running outside the system.
Trump continued to pedal his conspiracy theory that the election is rigged against him by saying it’s possible that he was given a faulty microphone. Trump asked the hosts of Fox & Friends, “I don’t know if you saw that in the room, but my microphone was terrible. I wonder, was it set up that way on purpose?”
During Trump’s interview on Fox & Friends, the candidate thinks he’s asking a question he already knows the answer to. Trump is convinced there is a bias against him, so everything that happens that doesn’t go his way, even if it’s his own fault, is someone out to get him.
Trump’s performance in the debate was objectively meek compared to the candidate’s persona, his answers weren’t on point, and his comebacks to Clinton were inappropriate at times. Overall, the debate came down to which candidate was better prepared and Trump can’t blame anyone but himself for that.
[Featured Image by David Goldman/AP Images]