Actually, they were to debate against each other, but instead the American audience was served two competing televised public meetings.
On one TV channel, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden was asked by voters and ABC’s George Stephanopoulos about topics such as economics, taxation and the Supreme Court.
At the same time, US President Donald Trump ended up in heated exchanges with NBC’s host Savannah Guthrie about everything from his own taxes to conspiracy theorists.
The next day, it is Trump’s appearance on television that has received by far the most attention.
The biggest headlines all come from one part of the TV show where NBC’s host Savannah Guthrie grilled the president.
The several-minute-long and intense exchange of remarks between Trump and Guthrie begins with the question of whether he wants to condemn white extremists – once and for all.
– I condemn white extremists, OK? I have been doing this for years, replied a clearly annoyed president, before trying to change focus.
He then asked why Guthrie, and the press in general, did not put Biden to the wall and asked him to condemn the so-called Antifa movement.
Antifa is an abbreviation for antifascist, and is a loose movement that has gradually received a lot of attention in the United States for being behind violent riots and confrontations with right-wing extremists.
And it was as part of this discussion, where Trump delivered a short remark that has been the subject of refs.
“Why don’t you ask Biden about this,” Trump angrily asked host Guthrie.
– Because you’re here, the host replied while Trump was still speaking.
Trump laughed briefly and sarcastically, then said:
– So sweet.
That made the actress and activist Alyssa Milano, who was one of the most important people behind the MeToo movement, reach out to the president.
– He’s so disgusting, she wrote on Twitter.
It was also on Twitter that one of the most talked about moments during the televised public meeting, reached its climax. More on that later.
Did not condemn QAnon
Host Guthrie then asked Trump if he “once and for all” would publicly condemn the spin-off conspiracy movement QAnon, which believes the United States is ruled by a conspiracy of pedophile Satanists.
– So… I do not know anything about QAnon, Trump replied.
– I just told you, counter host Guthrie.
“You told me that, but that you tell me that does not necessarily make it a fact,” Trump replied.
An intense exchange of remarks followed, after which the presenter pointed out that Trump earlier this week himself shared one of QAnon’s spin-wild conspiracy theories on Twitter.
“Sick” Obama theory
Trump further shared a Twitter message claiming that Barack Obama, Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton, among others, orchestrated the assassination of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, and instead killed the US special forces sent to Pakistan.
Trump’s spread of the theory was called “completely sick” by US expert and senior researcher Svein Melby.
– It was a retweet. That was the intention of some, and it was a retweet. I put it out, and then people can make an assessment themselves.
Then the host Guthrie replied in cash:
– You’re the president, not someone’s crazy uncle.
Back to Twitter. For it was on the basis of Guthrie’s “crazy uncle” comment that a kind of refutation of the host’s statement became the subject of much attention.
US President Donald Trump is the uncle of the psychologist and author Mary Trump, who earlier this year published the book with the following title:
‘Too much and never enough. How my family created the world’s most dangerous man ».
In it, she not only settled with the President of the United States, but the entire Trump family of which she is a part.
And when Guthrie last night delivered the “crazy uncle” comment, the niece was asked about just that on Twitter.
“I have to object to Savannah Guthrie saying that Trump is not someone’s crazy uncle. Mary Trump, do you want to repel? », One Twitter user wrote to the president’s niece.
“Well,” she replied.
Praise and criticism
Due to his cash questions and exchanges with the president, host Guthrie has also received a lot of attention after last night’s meeting.
She was praised by many for the way she handled the president.
“Savannah Guthrie grilled Trump like few others,” the Washington Post wrote.
The online newspaper Vox believes that Guthrie delivered “the Trump interview we have wanted for years”.
But there was also criticism.
Fox News commentator Lisa Boothe Cold Guthrie “partisk” on Twitter.
Laura Ingraham, also a well-known Fox News profile, asked the following questions on the same medium:
“Has anyone in the media ever challenged Biden as Savannah Guthrie is challenging Trump?”