President Donald Trump rarely sits down with reporters who don’t work for Fox News (his disastrous recent interview with Jonathan Swan being a notable exception), and even less frequently gives voters a chance to directly ask him questions. His Tuesday night town hall event on ABC illustrated why.
The 90-minute event, which took place in Philadelphia and consisted of him answering questions from a spectrum of voters and ABC host George Stephanopoulos, did not go well for Trump — so much so that Fox News’s immediate spin was that it was an “ambush.” Their evidence? That people had the gall to ask him about his own statements and policy positions.
Perhaps no moment illustrated the incoherence of Trump’s reelection messaging better than when he tried to blame Joe Biden for not implementing a national mask mandate, seemingly forgetting that he’s the president.
“They said at the Democrat convention they’re gonna do a national [mask] mandate. They never did it, because they’ve checked out and they didn’t do it,” he said, before going on to claim without evidence that “a lot of people think that masks are not good.” (In fact, public health experts broadly agree that wearing a mask around people can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.)
“They said at the Democrat Convention they’re gonna do a national [mask] mandate. They never did it.” — someone might want to inform Trump who the president is
He then tries to both-sides mask wearing, saying “a lot of people think that masks are not good.” pic.twitter.com/FACVjMr0di
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 16, 2020
Though Stephanopoulos at times let Trump go on extended, untruthful rants, he set the tone early by challenging a number of false claims Trump made about
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