Donald Trump may have avoided the debate with Joe Biden that had been scheduled for Thursday night, but that doesn’t mean he had an easy evening in his NBC News town hall. The moderator, Savannah Guthrie, repeatedly pushed back on Trump in response to some of his answers, pressing on him in a way that doesn’t happen all that often. And many Republican Trump supporters were not happy about that.
It was, indeed, reminiscent of Trump’s interview with Jonathan Swan of Axios back in August, in which Swan kept pushing Trump for more details in response to Trump’s evasive answers. One of the viral moments from the hour-long town hall saw Guthrie press Trump on his retweeting of a conspiracy theory about the death of Osama bin Laden.
“That was a retweet. That was an opinion of somebody,” Trump said when Guthrie asked about it. “I’ll put it out there, people can decide for themselves. I don’t take a position.”
Guthrie, incredulous, replied: “You’re the president! You’re not someone’s crazy uncle who can just retweet whatever!”
Conservatives on Twitter did not enjoy the combative nature of the NBC News town hall, and put the blame squarely on Guthrie for how it went. Below you can read a sampling of those responses.
Savannah Guthrie is debating Donald Trump–not moderating a town hall. #TrumpTownHall
— Kristin B. Tate (@KristinBTate) October 16, 2020
Savannah Guthrie is it that time of the month? Holy shit balls!
— Aubrey Huff (@aubrey_huff) October 16, 2020
I’m told that the NBC News employee/Democrat activist screeching at Trump during this “town hall” is Savannah Guthrie, not Chris Wallace in a pink pant suit and heels. I apologize for the confusion. https://t.co/OuHaiXjuEz
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) October 16, 2020
Joe’s stand-in: As expected, Savannah Guthrie is debating, not interviewing, Donald Trump. They wonder why people tune them out.
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) October 16, 2020
The questions from the NBC audience are actually pretty good and fair–so far–and it's only been Savannah Guthrie that has been awful
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) October 16, 2020
This was billed as a town hall, not a debate with Savannah Guthrie. I truly don't care about Savannah Guthrie's personal views and could stand to hear about 100% less of them.
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) October 16, 2020
this is a townhall? where is the town? its just Savannah badgering. what a joke.
— GregGutfeld (@greggutfeld) October 16, 2020
The second debate:
President Trump vs. Savannah Guthrie
— Ryan Fournier (@RyanAFournier) October 16, 2020
I just switched to NBC since ABC is in a commercial. Savanah Guthrie has interrupted Trump in these 60 seconds more than Stephanopulos has done to Biden in 40 mins. NBC is an interrogation. ABC is a picnic.
— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) October 16, 2020
The NBC News town hall was contentious pretty much from the start, with Guthrie asking Trump a popular question of late: whether he tested negative for COVID-19 the day of his debate with Joe Biden.
“I don’t know. I don’t even remember. I test all the time,” Trump said. He admitted that he had not been tested daily for the coronavirus, and never said when the last time was that he had tested negative prior to his positive test on Oct. 1.
When Guthrie pressed him on the topic, Trump just said that “possibly I did, possibly I didn’t,” test negative the day of the debate.