Trump’s Trials ‘Only an Excuse So Far’ for His Absence in Iowa, NBC’s Vaughn Hillyard Says | Video

“It’s a little abnormal,” the correspondent reports. “But Donald Trump is abnormal in his lead over his other Republican rivals”

With a week to go before the Iowa Caucus, Republican candidates are in full swing barnstorming through the state in 11th-hour efforts to pick up votes.

All the GOP hopefuls but Donald Trump, that is.

As NBC News’ Vaughn Hillyard reported Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Deadline: White House,” Trump is nowhere to be seen in Iowa. And his looming trials for the 91 criminal indictments he faces remain far enough in the offing for observers to wonder why he isn’t there.

“No, I’m looking for something to cover,” Hillyard said, adding that he was accustomed to being overwhelmingly busy while covering Iowa in previous president campaign seasons.

Hillyard said four years ago, Democratic candidate Pete Buttigieg would do as many as five or six events a day in the state. Eight years ago, GOP candidate Ted Cruz would do even more, according to Hillyard.

“This is a different ballgame,” Hillyard reported. “Donald Trump just is frankly not here. And the trials he’s taking part in are only an excuse so far. He chose to show up in a D.C. courtroom today. On Thursday, he’s choosing to voluntarily appear in that New York City civil fraud trial for his closing arguments.

“But tomorrow night, it’s not a public event that he’s taking part in,” the NBC News reporter continued. “Instead, it’s a Fox News town hall. That’s it, though, until this weekend.”

But that doesn’t mean there Trump’s campaign won’t have a more robust presence. Kari Lake, the potential Trump VP candidate, former Arizona gubernatorial candidate and fearless election denier, was en route to Iowa on Tuesday to begin campaigning for Trump, Hillyard said. Donald Trump Jr. would also be appearing on his father’s behalf during a Thursday event.

“A week before the Iowa Caucus, it’s a little abnormal,” Hillyard said. “But Donald Trump is abnormal in his lead over his other Republican rivals.”

Watch video of the full segment courtesy of MSNBC and YouTube at the top of this post, including reporting on the Iowa presence of Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz.

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