Chris Wallace Clashes With Donald Trump Campaign Adviser Over Family’s Refusal To Wear Masks At Debate

Debate moderator and Fox News anchor Chris Wallace directs the first presidential debate between U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden at the Health Education Campus of Case Western Reserve University on September 29, 2020 in Cleveland, Ohio.
Olivier Douliery / Getty Images

Donald Trump campaign adviser Steve Cortes appeared on Fox News Sunday and got into a tense exchange with host Chris Wallace about the Trump family’s refusal to wear masks at the first presidential debate.

As reported by The Hill, Wallace — who moderated the debate — asked whether the group believed they don’t have to take the same safety precautions as average Americans. Although the Trump employee noted that everyone was tested before the event, Wallace brushed the comment aside and continued his criticism.

“It doesn’t matter” the Fox News host said.

“Everybody that was in that room was tested, and the Cleveland Clinic’s regulation was it didn’t matter. Everybody was told to wear a mask. Why did the first family and the chief of staff feel the rules for everybody didn’t apply to them?”

Cortes argued in favor of “individual choice” and claimed that everyone underwent a test for the virus and socially distanced as a preventative.

“They weren’t distanced, and there were rules, and there was no freedom of choice,” Wallace said. “They broke the rules.”

Not long after the first debate, Wallace revealed that Trump and his family arrived late to the venue and thus could not receive a test for coronavirus before the event, The Hill reported. According to Wallace, those who could not be tested were held to the “honor system” and assumed to have recently received a negative result.

During his exchange with Wallace, Cortes pushed back by taking aim at his performance as moderator at the debate, which the host previously admitted went off the rails.

“The way you’re starting to harangue me now actually reminds me of what you did to the president…. He had to debate not just Joe Biden but you as well,” the Trump staffer said. “You were not a neutral moderator then.”

According to the campaign staffer, Wallace did not act as a neutral party and was biased against Trump.

U.S. President Donald Trump leaves the White House for Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on the South Lawn of the White House on October 2, 2020 in Washington, DC.
  Drew Angerer / Getty Images

The clash comes in the wake of Trump’s positive coronavirus test as he recovers at Walter Reed Medical Center. As The Inquisitr reported, George Stephanopoulos on Sunday confronted Trump senior campaign adviser Jason Miller about the president’s limited mask-wearing at recent events. While Miller argued that Trump’s frequent testing and social distancing are sufficient preventatives, Stephanopoulos highlighted that the head of state had not worn a mask on many occasions in recent weeks.

Symptoms of coronavirus exposure can take up to 14 days to manifest, per The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the public health agency, there is a median of four to five days from exposure to the virus to the onset of symptoms.