MSNBC anchor Ayman Mohyeldin and Trump campaign adviser Steve Cortes butted heads on Thursday over the campaign’s baseless claims that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s team backed out of an agreement for each candidate to be inspected for an earpiece prior to Tuesday night’s disastrous debate.
With just hours to go before the chaotic debate between Trump and Biden kicked off on Tuesday night, the Trump campaign baselessly accused the Biden campaign of previously agreeing to an inspection for earpieces prior to the debate, but supposedly reversed their decision to do so the day of the debate. Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said that “it seems pretty obvious that the Biden team is looking for any safety net they can find.”
Biden deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield fired back at the claim by characterizing it as “completely absurd” and “pathetic,” and slamming the Trump campaign for “lying.”
During Cortes’ interview on MSNBC on Thursday, Mohyeldin brought up that the Trump campaign spent tens of thousands of dollars on Facebook ads featuring doctored photos of Biden wearing an earpiece during the debate, and noted that Biden’s team said “this is entirely made up.”
Mohyeldin then pressed Cortes on his remark insisting that the Biden campaign agreed to an inspection and then backed out, before asking if he’d like to issue an apology for his misleading statement.
“No, I didn’t mislead anybody,” Cortes said. “Give me your proof that it’s false.”
After Mohyeldin fired back “that’s not how it works,” he asked Cortes to specify who made the supposed agreement for a pre-debate earpiece inspection, which the Trump campaign spokesperson replied: “I don’t know where the agreement is.”
Mohyeldin continued grilling Cortes on providing a specific name, which prompted Cortes to become more aggrieved as he believed that the MSNBC anchor was accusing him of being a liar amid pressing him on the Facebook ads that he claimed to be unaware of.
“Frankly, I’m not going to take your word for it Ayman and I’m not going to take MSNBC’s word for it,” Cortes said. “I’m not willing to take your word for it, quite frankly.”
Crosstalk between Mohyeldin and Cortes ensued.
While Cortes continued shouting, Mohyeldin told him that he’ll give him a “chance to go back and prepare for this interview next time for with what your campaign is doing.”
“Bring the names of those involved — you don’t even know the names of the people involved — you don’t know the names of the people in your campaign who made the agreement,” Mohyeldin told Cortes.
After Mohyeldin doubled down on accusing Cortes of misinforming the public, the Trump campaign talking head had an explosive reaction.
“I’m not going to allow you to call me a liar on TV and not allow me to respond!” Cortes shouted, while Mohyeldin effectively ended the interview by cutting off his feed.
The fiery exchange between Mohyeldin and Cortes comes a day after CNN anchor Jake Tapper booted Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh following a testy exchange regarding the President’s refusal to condemn white supremacists during the debate.
After Murtaugh attempted to steamroll Tapper by using the Trumpworld’s tactic of deflection, the CNN anchor had enough.
Tapper appeared to hit a breaking point from there by invoking debate moderator and Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, who struggled to keep things in line as Trump constantly interrupted and interjected throughout the debate.
“OK, you know what, I’m not Chris Wallace,” Tapper sarcastically told Murtaugh. “Thank you, Tim! Appreciate it. Thank you so much.”
Watch the exchange below:
MSNBC anchor Ayman Mohyeldin has enough of Trump campaign advisor Steve Cortes baselessly claiming the Biden campaign agreed to earpiece inspections and backed out, cuts off the interview.
Tells him he can come back when he can provide proof to substantiate the claim. pic.twitter.com/eHeKFkXyPR
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) October 1, 2020