Why’d He Do It? Trump Lies, Crashes & Burns in ABC Town Hall
Reality show president Donald Trump’s Tuesday started out fairly well with a 50+ minute phone appearance with the fawning Fox & Friends crew. But it ended in a spectacular dumpster fire on an ABC Town Hall as he struggled to coherently answer simple, direct questions posed by undecided voters.
Whatever the topic, Trump continually denied, deflected and flat out lied.
Paul Tubiana of Bethlehem, PA, began the grilling:
“Mr. President, I voted for you in 2016. I’m a conservative, pro-life and diabetic. I’ve had to dodge people who don’t care about social distancing and wearing face masks.
I thought you were doing a good job with the pandemic response until about May 1st. Then you took your foot off the gas pedal. Why did you throw vulnerable people like me under the bus?”
Predictably, Trump refused to accept responsibility. Watch, courtesy of ABC News:
Joni Powell’s COVID-19 follow up question elicited the first of Trump’s numerous, easily disproven lies of the evening:
POWELL: “My question is, if you believe it’s the president’s responsibility to protect America, why would you downplay a pandemic that is known to disproportionately harm low-income families and minority communities?
TRUMP: “Yeah. Well, I didn’t downplay it. I actually — in many ways I up-played it in terms of action.”
Watch their exchange:
ABC News’s George Stephanopoulos put in a yeoman effort as moderator, repeatedly providing the real time fact-checking needed to counter Trump’s attempts spin his alternate reality:
STEPHANOPOULOS: So do you think it’s OK to be dishonest?
TRUMP: I’m not looking to be dishonest. I don’t want people to panic. And we are going to be OK. We’re going to be OK, and it is going away. And it’s probably going to go away now a lot faster because of the vaccines.
It would go away without the vaccine, George, but it’s going to go away a lot faster with it.
STEPHANOPOULOS: It would go away without the vaccine?
TRUMP: Sure, over a period of time. Sure, with time it goes away.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And many deaths.
TRUMP: And you’ll develop — you’ll develop herd — like a herd mentality. It’s going to be — it’s going to be herd-developed, and that’s going to happen. That will all happen.
Stephanopoulos also called out Trump’s lie about healthcare and pre-existing conditions:
TRUMP: We’re going to be doing a healthcare plan very strongly and protect people with preexisting conditions.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I just have to stop you there, because it’s just on a couple of points.
Obamacare guaranteed people with preexisting conditions could buy insurance, guaranteed they could buy it at the same price as everyone else, guaranteed a package of essential benefits, guaranteed that insurance companies couldn’t put a lifetime limit on those benefits.
You fought to repeal Obamacare, you are arguing…
TRUMP: Well, I essentially did, because…
STEPHANOPOULOS: You’re arguing the Supreme Court right now to strike it down, that would do away with preexisting conditions.
Trump’s lies were so pervasive throughout the evening that the Washington Post declared it a “four Pinocchio” performance.
Read the full transcript of last night’s Town Hall here.