Due To Lingering Grudge, Trump Threatens To Boycott Debates

December 13, 2019 8:19 a.m.
EDITORS' NOTE: TPM is making our COVID-19 coverage free to all readers during this national health crisis. If you’d like to support TPM's reporters, editors and staff, the best way to do so is to become a member.

President Donald Trump is in talks with his advisers about skipping the general election debates in 2020, maintaining that he was ill-treated by the nonprofit commission that sponsors them.

According to the New York Times, Trump blames the Commission on Presidential Debates for his lack of success in 2016 appearances against Hillary Clinton.

After one night in September 2016 when his performance was widely criticized, he claimed that his microphone was defective. The commission later acknowledged that technical issues did affect the volume of his voice.

During the second debate, the commission refused to let Trump’s campaign seat women — all of whom have accused former President Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct — where they wanted to. The plan was to plant the women in the V.I.P. box, to force the former President to walk by them on the way to his seat. There, they also would have been in Hillary Clinton’s sight line from the stage. The campaign had to give up on the seating plan when the commission threatened to order security to remove the women.

Trump’s advisers told the Times that they would not discuss his debate plan until next year.

Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Senior Editor:
Special Projects Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Publishing Associate:
Front-End Developer:
Senior Designer: