Trump Doesn’t Want Moderators At The Presidential Debates

September 12, 2016 10:01 a.m.

Donald Trump has a solution in mind for those who’ve been unhappy with debate moderators: get rid of them altogether.

Trump said in a Tuesday interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that he wants to have a debate where he and Clinton are just “talking” sans moderator because of concerns that moderators are biased.

Trump began by defending NBC’s Matt Lauer, who hosted the Commander-in-Chief Forum last week to unfavorable reviews. He said that Lauer did well and that criticism of his performance was unfair, then predicted that when the presidential debates start Trump will be the one treated unfairly.

“As far as the debates are concerned, and the system is being gamed because everybody said I won the so-called forum that your group put on, but they all said I won and that Matt Lauer was easy on me, and he wasn’t,” he said. “I think he was professional and has been treated unfairly, and they all said I won so when I go into the debate, I will be treated unfairly by the moderators.”

Trump went on to suggest that the most obvious solution to the problem is to have no moderators at the presidential debates.

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“Let Hillary and I sit there and just debate,” he said. “I think the system is being rigged so it’s going to be a very unfair debate. I can see it happening right now because everybody was saying ‘he was soft on Trump,’ and now the new person is going to try and be really hard on Trump just to show the establishment what he can do. I think it’s very unfair what they are doing. I think we should have a debate with no moderator, just Hillary and I sitting there talking.”

Trump has famously sowed fears of the election being “rigged” because of voter fraud, which data shows is nearly nonexistent.

This is not the first time Trump has taken issue with debate moderators and debates in general, either. He previously went to war with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly after she moderated a Republican primary debate, and he declined to attend another primary debate hosted by Fox in favor of hosting a fundraiser.

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