Trump says he CAN’T REMEMBER when last negative test was

‘You’re the president – you’re not someone’s crazy uncle!’ Donald Trump faces off with Savannah Guthrie in angry town hall as he says he CAN’T REMEMBER when he tested negative for COVID and clashes with her over his taxes and his tweets

  • Donald Trump was combative and defensive throughout his town hall meeting with NBC News on Thursday  
  • Trump sparred with NBC News’ Savannah Guthrie over wearing a face mask, denouncing white supremacy, and the QAnon conspiracy group
  • ’Let’s waste a whole show,’ he snapped at her when she asked him about the retweets on his Twitter feed, which have contained QAnon conspiracy theories and unproven claims about Osama bin Laden
  •  ‘You’re not somebody’s crazy uncle who can just retweet whatever,’ Guthrie told him 
  • The town hall, which took the place of the second presidential debate scheduled for Thursday night in Miami, had many memorable moments – most combative and some just unusual
  • On ABC Biden faced was questioned by George Stephanopoulos in Philadelphia, to an audience of undecided voters and set a far more sedated tone 
  • The evening started out with the president saying he can’t remember when he last tested negative for the coronavirus before he was diagnosed with it on October 3 
  • The conflicting town hall broadcasts came about after the Commission on Presidential Debates canceled the previously scheduled October 15 debate because Trump refused to do a virtual debate 

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Donald Trump was combative and defensive throughout his town hall meeting with NBC News on Thursday night, a contentious evening that found the president struggling to answer questions about his COVID testing, his taxes, his debt and a host of other issues.

The one-hour event seemed more like a boxing match than an interview as Trump sparred with NBC News’ Savannah Guthrie over wearing a face mask, denouncing white supremacy, and the QAnon conspiracy group.

Guthrie asked more questions than the undecided voters the evening was dedicated to and challenged Trump repeatedly in a way the president doesn’t usually experience given his preference for interviews with friendlier news outlets.

’Let’s waste a whole show,’ he snapped at her when she asked him about the retweets on his Twitter feed, which have contained QAnon conspiracy theories and unproven claims Seal Team Six killed Osama bin Laden’s body double.

‘You’re not somebody’s crazy uncle who can just retweet whatever,’ Guthrie told him as she pressed him on the issue.

She kept the president on his toes with quick questions and repeated follow ups, pushing him to answer questions he tried to deflect away.

Yet soon after the debate ended, Trump’s campaign boasted he had ‘defeated opponent’ Guthrie, saying he had ‘masterfully handled her attacks’. 

During the evening, the president appeared to admit he owes more than $400 million to creditors, denied knowing about QAnon while praising them for fighting pedophilia, and declined to say if he was tested for COVID the day of his first presidential debate.

The town hall, which took the place of the second presidential debate scheduled for Thursday night in Miami, had many memorable moments – most combative and some just unusual.

One of those came when Paulette Dale, described as leaning toward voting for Joe Biden, appeared to flirt with the president.

‘I have to say, you have a great smile. You’re so handsome when you smile,’ she told him. ‘Thank you,’ Trump said as the audience applauded.

The evening started out with the president saying he can’t remember when he last tested negative for the coronavirus before he was diagnosed with it on October 3. 

Donald Trump was combative and defensive throughout his town hall meeting with NBC News on Thursday night, a contentious evening that found the president struggling to answer questions about his COVID testing, his taxes, his debt and a host of other issues

Donald Trump was combative and defensive throughout his town hall meeting with NBC News on Thursday night, a contentious evening that found the president struggling to answer questions about his COVID testing, his taxes, his debt and a host of other issues 

Trump also claimed to NBC host Savannah Guthrie that 85 percent of people who wear masks get the virus' - although that is not an accurate statistic

Trump also claimed to NBC host Savannah Guthrie that 85 percent of people who wear masks get the virus' - although that is not an accurate statistic

’Let’s waste a whole show,’ he snapped at her when she asked him about the retweets on his Twitter feed, which have contained QAnon conspiracy theories and unproven claims Seal Team Six killed Osama bin Laden’s body double. ‘You’re not somebody’s crazy uncle who can just retweet whatever,’ Guthrie told him as she pressed him on the issue 

Trump said he felt ‘fantastically’ at the debate and there ‘was no problem.’ ‘I was in great shape for the debate,’ he repeated. Pictured: Trump touches his nose part during a live one-hour NBC News town hall forum with a group of Florida voters in Miami

Trump said he felt ‘fantastically’ at the debate and there ‘was no problem.’ ‘I was in great shape for the debate,’ he repeated. Pictured: Trump touches his nose part during a live one-hour NBC News town hall forum with a group of Florida voters in Miami

It set a contentious tone for the evening, with Guthrie repeating challenging Trump on his record and his claims, telling him at one point of a retweet suggesting Osama bin Laden’s body double was killed by SEAL Team 6, not the terror leader: ‘You’re not somebody’s crazy uncle who can just retweet whatever’ 

On ABC Biden faced was questioned by George Stephanopoulos in Philadelphia, to an audience of undecided voters and set a far more sedated tone

On ABC Biden faced was questioned by George Stephanopoulos in Philadelphia, to an audience of undecided voters and set a far more sedated tone 

Pressed repeatedly by NBC’s Savannah Guthrie, Trump couldn’t say if he was tested for the disease on the day of the first presidential debate with Democratic nominee Joe Biden. 

‘Did you test the day of the debate?,’ Guthrie asked him. 

‘I don’t know. I don’t even remember,’ Trump responded.  

The president said he doesn’t get tested for COVID every day. ‘No but I take a lot of tests,’ he said.

The White House has repeatedly refused to answer when the president last tested negative before he tested positive.

Before his September 29 debate with Biden, Trump attended two events at the White House – a Rose Garden ceremony for his Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett and an East Room event for Gold Star families – where several attendees later tested positive for COVID. 

‘I was in great shape for the debate. And it was only after the debate, like a period of time, after the debate,’ Trump said, that he started feeling poorly. 

Trump said he felt ‘fantastically’ at the debate and there ‘was no problem.’ ‘I was in great shape for the debate,’ he repeated.

At one point during a commercial break, Trump took out a tissue and dabbed at his nose. 

On the back of his right hand there were large band aids, suggesting he is receiving intravenous fluids despite claiming to be ‘medication free’ after his battle with coronavirus. 

He was previously seen with similar band aids on Saturday. They were placed in a spot that is commonly used to deliver IV fluids or medications. Much less commonly, it could be used as a site to draw blood for tests, if veins in the arm were difficult to access, a medical expert previously told DailyMail.com.  

Trump says ‘people can decide for themselves’ if Osama bin Laden’s body double was killed

Earlier this week, Trump re-posted a conspiracy theory that the Navy SEAL team who took down Osama bin Laden actually killed his body double so the team was then killed by the Obama administration.

‘That was a retweet. That was an opinion of somebody. And that was a retweet,’ Trump said when he was questioned about the tweet during his town hall with NBC News Thursday evening.

‘I’ll put it out there. People can decide for themselves. I won’t take a position,’ the president continued.

Town hall moderator, NBC anchor Savannah Guthrie, who started off the evening by interrogating the president on a variety of topics, pushed Trump on his claim that his retweets don’t take a stance.

‘I don’t get that, you’re the president,’ Guthrie pressed. ‘You’re not like someone’s crazy uncle who can just retweet whatever.’

The QAnon conspiracy about SEAL Team Six claims that Osama bin Laden is still alive

The QAnon conspiracy about SEAL Team Six claims that Osama bin Laden is still alive

The former Navy SEAL has said that he was the one to shoot bin Laden during the raid

The former Navy SEAL has said that he was the one to shoot bin Laden during the raid

O'Neill is a Trump fan but hit out at the president over his retweets of the claims

O’Neill is a Trump fan but hit out at the president over his retweets of the claims

‘That was a retweet,’ Trump insisted. ‘And I do a lot of retweets. And frankly, because the media is so fake, and so corrupt, if I didn’t have social media – I don’t call it Twitter, I call it social media – I wouldn’t be able to get the word out.’ 

The questions over conspiracies, and Trump’s refusal to denounce them, came after he reposted a tweet questioning the validity of whether SEAL Team Six actually killed Osama bin Laden.

The former Navy SEAL who shot bin Laden dead hit out at the QAnon conspiracy theory pushed by Trump on his Twitter that claims Biden had SEAL Team Six killed after the raid.

Robert O’Neill, 44, appeared with Chris Cuomo on CNN on Wednesday night to voice his disgust that the ‘highest-ranking person in the country’ would be ‘trampling on the graves of some of the best heroes’ by claiming the team had not killed Bin Laden.  

The online theory has suggested that former Navy SEAL Robert O’Neill only killed a body double of bin Laden in the 2011 raid and that the Obama and Biden administration were implicated in the killing of the mission’s team to cover it up.   It also claims that bin Laden is still alive.   

The idea was formed by QAnon, the far-right conspiracy theory centered on the baseless belief that Trump is secretly fighting enemies in the ‘deep state’ and a child sex trafficking ring run by satanic pedophiles and cannibals.  

Trump says QAnon ‘are strongly against pedophilia’ as he is challenged on conspiracy theory tweets 

 The president was questioned on another conspiracy theory, QAnon, before voters were given a chance to ask Trump their questions.

‘I wanted to ask you about QAnon – it is this theory that Democrats are a satanic pedophile ring, and you are the savior of that. Now can you just, once and for all, state that that is completely not true. So disavow QAnon in its entirety,’ Guthrie prompted in a contentious exchange with the president.

‘I know nothing about QAnon. I know very little,’ Trump claimed.

‘I just told you,’ she pressed.

‘You told me, but what you tell me doesn’t necessarily make it fact – I hate to say that,’ Trump pushed back. ‘I know nothing about it. I know they are very much against pedophilia, they fight it very hard. But I know nothing about it.’

Guthrie tried another approach by inciting remarks from Republican Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska – who in the past has clashed with Trump.

‘Republican Senator Ben Sasse said quote QAnon is nuts and real leaders call conspiracy theories, conspiracy theories,’ she said.

‘He may be right,’ Trump concede.

‘Why not just say it’s crazy and not true?’ she asked of the QAnon conspiracy theory.

‘Can I be honest, he may be right. I just don’t know about QAnon,’ he repeated.

‘You do know,’ she claimed.

‘I don’t know. You tell me all about it,’ he said. ‘Let’s waste the whole show. You started off with White Supremacy, I denounce it. You start off with something else. Let’s go, keep asking me these questions.’

‘But let me just tell you, what I do hear about it is they are very strongly against pedophilia. And I agree with that. I mean, I do agree with that and I agree with it strongly,’ he said.

Trump also defended his decision not to wear a face mask. ‘People with masks are catching it all the time,’ he argued. He pointed to the Democratic Governor of Virginia Ralph Northam and Republican Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina testing positive despite repeatedly wearing masks

Trump also defended his decision not to wear a face mask. ‘People with masks are catching it all the time,’ he argued. He pointed to the Democratic Governor of Virginia Ralph Northam and Republican Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina testing positive despite repeatedly wearing masks

Donald Trump says his $750 bill was ‘a filing fee’ and that he ‘probably’ owes foreign entities as part of his $400 million debt – which he calls ‘very low’ 

Trump appeared to confirm key elements of reporting that his income tax bill in 2016 was just $750 while holding debts worth hundreds of millions, even as he said publication of his tax return information was ‘illegal.’ 

‘I think that’s a filing number. You pay $750, it’s a filing or a filing fee,’ Trump responding, appearing to confirm the bottom line assessment that the billionaire paid a fraction of what millions of Americans pay in federal income taxes.

Trump also did not knock down Times reporting, based on years of tax returns the paper said it obtained, that he owed $421 million in debts that would come due in his next term, many to foreign entities.

‘What they did is illegal, number one. Also, the numbers are all wrong with the numbers that were released. And just so you understand, when you have a lot of real estate, I have a real estate, you know a lot of it. Okay?’ Trump began.

But then he appeared to confirm the multi-million debt when he told NBC’s Savannah Guthrie it was just a fraction compared to his assets, and labeled himself ‘under-levered.’

Trump plugged a few of his properties, including the Doral golf club where he and secret service agents frequently stay when he visits Florida as he did Thursday. 

‘Right down the road, Doral. Big stuff. Great stuff. I’m very under – when I decided to run, I’m very under-levered fortunately. I’m very under-levered,’ Trump said, using a word similar to the common financial term leveraged. 

‘I have a very, very small percentage of debt compared – in fact, some of it i did as favors to institutions that wanted to loan me money,’ Trump claimed, without further explanation.

‘Four hundred million, compared to the assets that I have, all of these great properties all over the world, And frankly – the Bank of America Building in San Francisco. I don’t love what’s happening to San Francisco …’ he said. 

Trump said unprompted that ‘I don’t owe Russia money,’ but didn’t give a clear answer when asked if he owed to foreign entities.

‘Not that I know of but I will probably because it’s so easy to solve. And if you’d like to do. I will let you know who — who I owe whatever small amount of money,’ Trump told his interviewer.

President Donald Trump appeared to confirm key elements of reporting about his extraordinary $750 federal income tax bill in 2016, which he said was a 'filing fee,' while appearing to confirm he has hundreds in millions of debt but is 'very under-levered'

President Donald Trump appeared to confirm key elements of reporting about his extraordinary $750 federal income tax bill in 2016, which he said was a ‘filing fee,’ while appearing to confirm he has hundreds in millions of debt but is ‘very under-levered’

He said it was ‘a very small amount of money.’ He added: ‘It’s very straight. It’s very, very straight. But it’s a tiny percentage of the worth.’

He once again turned down a chance to say he would release his returns when asked. ‘I’m under audit. it turned out that I am under audit,’ Trump said. 

He also complained about the IRS, claiming he was getting unfair political treatment. ‘No person in their right mind would release prior to working out the deal with the IRS,’ he said. ‘I’m treated very badly by the IRS. They treat me very, very badly. You have people in there from previous administrations treat me very badly. But we’re under are under audit. It’s very routine in many ways.’

‘They like to change the game, change the rules, do everything,’ he said. 

As he did four years ago, Trump said he wants to release his returns.

‘I would love to release them and as soon as we come to a conclusion, I will release them. And very gladly,’ he said. 

He said of the Times: ‘I can tell you this, if they have my tax returns as you know, they have to go to jail. It’s illegal.’ It is a crime for a government employee to leak personal tax return information, but it is not known to be a crime for the Times to possess or publish it. 

Trump also defended his decision not to wear a face mask. 

‘People with masks are catching it all the time,’ he argued. He pointed to the Democratic Governor of Virginia Ralph Northam and Republican Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina testing positive despite repeatedly wearing masks.

‘Just the other day they came out with a statement that 85% of the people that wear masks catch it,’ he said.

Trump likely got the number from an article on the right-wing news site The Blaze, which said of those surveyed who had contracted COVID-19 85 percent ‘always’ or ‘often’ wore face coverings.

Mediaite reported that the number came from a CDC paper that found that 71 percent of COVID-positive study participants reported always wearing masks, while another 14 percent said they often wore masks, in the two weeks leading up to their coronavirus diagnosis.

The paper found that a slightly bigger group, 74 percent, said they always wore masks and didn’t contract COVID-19.

When asked by Isabella Pena, the daughter of two frontline health workers, if his opinion had changed on wearing a mask after his Covid-19 diagnosis, Trump said: No, because I was okay with the masks. I was good with it.’

‘But I’ve heard many different stories on masks,’ Trump said, one of many times he’s talked about masks as a ‘both sides’ issue.

Trump commented after once again boarding Air Force One and appearing at rallies without a mask, and even coming back to talk to reporters without a mask on a flight Wednesday. Then he told a story he also mentioned in the first presidential debate.

‘People – they bring meals. I had an instance recently where a very wonderful person is bringing me a meal. And he’s playing with his mask and he’s touching his mask all over the place. And then he’s bringing a plate in. And I’m saying I don’t know if that’s so good,’ Trump said.

This time, he revealed he turned down the food.

‘I didn’t eat it, okay? I decided not to eat it. This was a month ago.’

Trump also defended his decision to quickly get back to work and on the campaign trail after having COVID. ‘As President, I have to be out there. I can't be in a basement. I can't be locked in a very beautiful room someplace in the White House,’ he said. Pictured: Trump at a campaign rally in Greenville, North Carolina hours before his town hall on Thursday

Trump also defended his decision to quickly get back to work and on the campaign trail after having COVID. ‘As President, I have to be out there. I can’t be in a basement. I can’t be locked in a very beautiful room someplace in the White House,’ he said. Pictured: Trump at a campaign rally in Greenville, North Carolina hours before his town hall on Thursday 

He specifically mentioned the event with Gold Star families (pictured on September 27) where, afterward, several high ranking members of the military went into quarantine after a few of them tested positive. ‘I want to see the Gold Star families,’ Trump said. ‘I want to see everybody.

He specifically mentioned the event with Gold Star families (pictured on September 27) where, afterward, several high ranking members of the military went into quarantine after a few of them tested positive. ‘I want to see the Gold Star families,’ Trump said. ‘I want to see everybody.

Pressed by Guthrie, Trump defended himself and pointed to disagreement in the early days of the pandemic. Now his team says it could save thousands of lives if more people wore masks.

‘Look, you have, on the masks, a story where they want, a story where they don’t want. I am all for it,’ Trump said.

Guthrie brought up a Washington University study that masks could have a major impact reducing deaths. 

Trump countered by bringing up his controversial advisor Dr. Scott Atlas, who is not an infectious disease expert and has promoted controversial ideas on herd immunity.

‘And then you have other people that disagree. Scott Atkins [Atlas]. If you look at Scott, Dr. Scott. He’s from great guy – Stanford. One of the great experts of the world,’ Trump said. He was referring to Atlas.

Trump also defended his decision to quickly get back to work and on the campaign trail after having COVID.

‘As President, I have to be out there. I can’t be in a basement. I can’t be locked in a very beautiful room someplace in the White House,’ he said.

He specifically mentioned the event with Gold Star families where, afterward, several high ranking members of the military went into quarantine after a few of them tested positive.

‘I want to see the Gold Star families,’ Trump said. ‘I want to see everybody.’

But he said he wasn’t blaming the families – who lost a loved one in service to the country – for infecting him.

‘No I don’t know where it came from,’ he said. ‘You don’t know where it came from; the doctors don’t know where it came from.’

The commission offered the hold the debate in a virtual capacity, but the motion was refused by Trump who called the suggestion a ‘waste’ of his time.

ABC quickly slated a Joe Biden town hall in the same time slot as when the virtual debate would’ve been held.

Following lengthy negotiations, NBC, which made Trump a household name with its series The Apprentice, booked him for a town hall airing at exactly the same time – a scheduling decision that has drawn wide criticism.

In the Thursday letter, the coalition of entertainers and executives said their critique is not the result of a ‘partisan issue. This is about the political health of our democracy.’

‘We believe this kind of indifference to the norms and rules of our democracy are what have brought our country to this perilous state,’ the letter said.

Democratic Presidential candidate and former US Vice President Joe Biden (L) and moderator George Stephanopoulos arrive for an ABC News town hall event at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia

Democratic Presidential candidate and former US Vice President Joe Biden (L) and moderator George Stephanopoulos arrive for an ABC News town hall event at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia

ABC quickly slated a Joe Biden town hall in the same time slot as when the virtual debate would’ve been held

ABC quickly slated a Joe Biden town hall in the same time slot as when the virtual debate would’ve been held

 

Trump himself spoke about Thursday night's town hall during a rally in Greenville, North Carolina this afternoon, calling the event a 'set up'. 'So you know I’m being set up tonight, right?,' Trump told the gathered crowd. 'So, I’m doing this town hall with Concast — C-O-N, right? Con, because it’s a con job. … So, I’m doing it, and it’s NBC. The worst'

Trump himself spoke about Thursday night’s town hall during a rally in Greenville, North Carolina this afternoon, calling the event a ‘set up’. ‘So you know I’m being set up tonight, right?,’ Trump told the gathered crowd. ‘So, I’m doing this town hall with Concast — C-O-N, right? Con, because it’s a con job. … So, I’m doing it, and it’s NBC. The worst’

President Donald J. Trump's supporters gather next to Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden's supporters as they attend a demonstration in front of the Perez Art Museum where US President Donald J. Trump will attend a NBC News Town Hall in Miami

President Donald J. Trump’s supporters gather next to Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden’s supporters as they attend a demonstration in front of the Perez Art Museum where US President Donald J. Trump will attend a NBC News Town Hall in Miami

Trump called NBC’s town hall with Biden earlier this month 'a joke' and, without offering evidence, accused the network of not treating both candidates fairly

Trump called NBC’s town hall with Biden earlier this month ‘a joke’ and, without offering evidence, accused the network of not treating both candidates fairly

‘We are simply asking that NBC air the President’s town hall either before or after Vice President Biden’s so that American voters can have the opportunity to watch both.

‘We understand the necessities of business, especially in this difficult time. But we believe there are larger issues of civic responsibility at stake here,’ the letter continued.

Among those leading the charge was Dan Fogelman, the mind behind NBC’s smash-hit series This Is Us, with cast members Sterling K. Brown, Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia also named among the signees.

A number of other prominent current and former NBCUniversal stars and producers are also named among the 105 co-signers of the letter, including Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Executive Producer Neal Baer.

Other big names include producer Ryan Murphy, who created The New Normal, in addition to actor-producer Ben Stiller, and Family Guy creator Seth Macfarlane, who recently signed a $200m production deal with NBCU.

Trump himself spoke about Thursday night’s town hall during a rally in Greenville, North Carolina this afternoon, calling the event a ‘set up’.

‘So you know I’m being set up tonight, right?,’ Trump told the gathered crowd. ‘So, I’m doing this town hall with Concast — C-O-N, right? Con, because it’s a con job. … So, I’m doing it, and it’s NBC. The worst.’

He also had some sarcastic remarks for the event’s moderator, Savannah Guthrie, who he said is ‘always lovely’ in an insincere tone.

Trump called NBC’s town hall with Biden earlier this month ‘a joke’ and, without offering evidence, accused the network of not treating both candidates fairly.

But he said he was eager to participate in the event, describing it as a ‘free; opportunity for him to reach more voters.

‘So, they asked me if I’d do it and I figured, what the hell, we get a free hour on television,’ Trump said. ‘So, I’ll see you later on NBC. I look forward to it.’

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