Washington, D.C. – Donald Trump says debate moderator Lester Holt shouldn’t try to fact-check the candidates at next week’s presidential debate. Trump says it’s up to the candidates themselves to call out their rivals when they are wrong. The billionaire businessman spoke Thursday in a telephone interview on “Fox & Friends.” He says the candidates should “argue it out.” NBC’s Matt Lauer has received criticism for not pointing out factual errors by Trump at a recent forum on national security.
“To my understanding, the role of the moderator is to ask the questions and give an introduction into certain topics for the debate,” the real estate magnate argued. “I don’t think he’s supposed to act as a referee and decide who is being honest and who isn’t. But, since I know that liberals are getting ready right about now to call me a hypocrite, I’ll just go ahead and agree that the moderator should do whatever he wants during next week’s debate.”
The media mogul-turned-Republican-presidential-candidate then threatened to quit the debate if his counterpart, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton uses any type of facts during the debate. “Now, I agreed with you, didn’t I? I’ve just done that, right? Trump asked the hosts. “So then, now I want you to promise me that Hillary Clinton will not be allowed to use any type of factual arguments during the debate. Because if she starts doing that, I’m walking off that stage, I want to make that clear.”
Asked to elaborate on his strange request, Trump argued that facts can be “very dangerous,” especially when used by the Democrats. “I don’t know if anyone’s aware of this, but the last time Hillary Clinton attempted to use so-called facts in her defense, she managed to avoid being punished for using a private email server and, we mustn’t forget, argued that she wasn’t responsible and that she wasn’t the cause of the bombing of the U.S. embassy in Benghazi. So, that’s just a friendly reminder.”
“Because, these so-called facts turn to lethal weapons in the hands of Democrats, and especially in the hands of the greatest manipulator of them all, Hillary Clinton,” he continued. “What’s to stop her from falsely claiming that I’m a bigot, misogynist, racist or any other juicy adjective she can think of? There are plenty of words in the English language for her to use as ammunition against innocent people like me, so long as she wraps them into ‘facts.’”
He added, “That’s why I want her to not be able to use any facts, any factual arguments. If we’re going to have a debate, let’s make it a real debate, something that will show the people who’s the better speaker, let’s make a spectacle out of it. We can bring in some dancers, fireworks, speakers, amps, we can even have a band play a gig or something, I’ve got a ton of ideas. Regardless of who wins the debate, and let me tell you – that’ll be me, but regardless of who wins, there’s money to be made on this, it’s too good of an opportunity to pass up,” Trump concluded.