Trump Agrees To Three Debates—If He Likes The Terms

AP

Donald Trump said Tuesday that he will “absolutely” commit to three presidential debates with Hillary Clinton, but he suggested that he’d try to renegotiate the terms first.

“I will absolutely do three debates,” Trump said in a phone interview with Time. “I want to debate very badly. But I have to see the conditions.”

He went on to imply that he may try to change the terms of the debates.

“I renegotiated the debates in the primaries, remember? They were making a fortune on them and they had us in for three and a half hours and I said that’s ridiculous,” Trump said.

During the Republican primaries, Trump planned to skip two debates, although the second debate he planned to skip was ultimately canceled.

Trump said he also reserved the right to object to the Commission on Presidential Debates’ choice of moderators, telling Time that “certain moderators would be unacceptable, absolutely.”

A commission official told Time that while certain “fine points” could be negotiated, the format as announced was non-negotiable.

Trump previously objected to the debate schedule, saying that it was rigged by the Democrats because two of the debates were scheduled to occur during NFL games.

On Monday, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair, John Podesta, said that she plans to participate in all three presidential debates and challenged Trump to “show up” and do the same.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.

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