Trump Surrogate Suggests President Has the Right to Violate Debate Rules
President Donald Trump has the right to interrupt Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden during their final debate because Biden is going to lie about him, the Trump campaign claimed on Thursday.
Each candidate will have his microphone muted while the other speaks, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced on Tuesday.
MSNBC’s Halley Jackson asked Hogan Gidley, the Trump 2020 press secretary, if Trump will stay quiet while Biden speaks, as the commission now requires, and to which both campaigns have agreed.
Gidley first avoided the question by touting Trump’s “style” and rambling through the typical Trump talking points about the economy.
But Jackson pushed back, demanding that Gidley answer the question at hand: will the president repsect the rules?
Gidley finally answered, explaining that while the president “wants to abide by the rules,” he will not hesitate to defend himself if Biden lies about him.
“No red-blooded American is going to stand by anyone and allow them to lie about them. The President’s not going to let Joe Biden do that,” Gidley said.
“So that sounds like you’re saying the President’s not going to let Joe Biden have his two minutes,” Jackson replied.
“I didn’t say that. I’m just saying the President is a counter-puncher,” Gidley continued. “And if you’re going to lie about him he’s going to call you out for it. We’ll wait and see what happens in this debate. The President wants to abide by the rules, but if Joe Biden’s not going to be truthful, then the President’s going to tell him about it.”
Watch below, courtesy of Talking Points Memo:
Trump campaign won't say if POTUS will let Biden speak uninterrupted during the final debate. pic.twitter.com/HT3R7mojWZ
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) October 22, 2020
Gidley is not the only Trump insider to suggest that Trump will do whatever he wants. On Wednesday, Trump’s niece, Mary, told MSNBC’s Ari Melber that the president should not be treated like rules matter to him.
“People need to stop treating Donald like he’s normal, that he’s going to abide by the rules or care at all about behaving decently,” Mary Trump said on The Beat. “He doesn’t. We cannot treat him like a normal candidate on a debate stage.”
Trump “he needs to interrupt. He needs to be rude. He needs to talk over other people,” she added. “And he needs to change the subject no matter how irrelevantly he does it,” she added.