At a town hall Thursday night, NBC News’ Savannah Guthrie went toe-to-toe with President Trump, giving him one of the more aggressive interviews he’s experienced as president.
Guthrie pressed the president on his COVID-19 diagnosis, his last negative test, his personal dislike for masks and the conspiracy group QAnon, pressing him and not letting him evade answering. The town hall was a replacement of sorts for the debate Mr. Trump was supposed to take part on Thursday night. But Guthrie was able to challenge Mr. Trump more than former Vice President Joe Biden and Fox News’ Chris Wallace did in an actual debate last month.
Guthrie asked Mr. Trump about his retweet this week of a conspiracy theory that Biden orchestrated the killing Seal Team 6 to cover up the fake death of Osama Bin Laden.
“Why would you send a lie like that to your followers?” Guthrie asked him.
“I know nothing about it,” Mr. Trump said.
“You retweeted it,” Guthrie pointed out.
“That was a retweet, that was an opinion of somebody, and that was a retweet. I’ll put it out there, people can decide for themselves, I don’t take a position,” the president responded.
“I don’t get that,” Guthrie countered. “You’re the president — you’re not like someone’s crazy uncle who can just retweet whatever!”
Guthrie also leaned hard into the topic of the president’s battle with COVID-19, forcing the president to admit he couldn’t remember if he was tested for COVID-19 on the morning of the debate. The president also admitted he wasn’t being tested every single day.
Guthrie also pushed the president on the topic of masks, which the president claims he supports but rarely actually wears. Mr. Trump said “people with masks are catching” COVID-19 “all the time” and said he’s heard “different” thing about masks.
Guthrie also challenged the president on his claim that he doesn’t know what QAnon is, despite having retweeted multiple QAnon accounts and having been asked about the conspiracy theory before.
“I don’t know,” the president said.
“You do know,” Guthrie countered.
Mr. Trump also couldn’t answer whether he was tested on the day of the last debate, shortly before he tested positive for COVID-19. Mr. Trump, who has claimed to have one of the best memories, said he didn’t know and couldn’t remember.
(This story was published by CBS News on Oct. 15 at 9:27 p.m. ET)
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