Hours ahead of his already-controversial Thursday night primetime town hall forum on NBC, the president blasted the network, telling North Carolina rally-goers that NBC is “the worst” and that he was “being set-up” but that he’d still do it because it’s a “free hour of television.”
After dropping out of the scheduled presidential debate for Oct. 15 after the Commission of Presidential Debates made it virtual due to the president’s coronavirus diagnosis, Trump eventually agreed to a town-hall forum on the same date. The NBC event, booked earlier this week, will occur during the same hour as Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s ABC News town hall, sparking outrage among critics and NBC staffers alike.
Trump, who wanted to counter-program against Biden in an effort to beat him in the TV ratings, didn’t appear all that appreciative towards NBC on Thursday over its willingness to provide him with that opportunity.
“So, I’m being set up tonight,” Trump blared before firing off his favorite nickname for NBC’s parent company. “I’m doing this town hall with Concast, con, con. It’s a con job. C-O-N, not C-O-M. Concast! It’s NBC, the worst!”
From there, the president—whose long-running reality program The Apprentice ran on NBC for more than a decade—began running down a number of NBC News personalities, namely anchor Lester Holt and Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd, whom he once again labeled “Sleepy Eyes.”
After grumbling that Biden was given “questions that a child could answer” in his earlier NBC town hall, calling it a “joke,” the president then said the quiet part out loud.
“They asked me if I’d do it, I figured, ‘What the hell? We get a free hour on television,’” he exclaimed. “And we got Savannah Guthrie. She’s always lovely, isn’t she?” the president snarked. “I figured, why not?”
He went on to whine about how he’ll be asked tough questions while ABC will “be so soft” with Biden, adding that he’d like to watch the Biden town hall to “see if he can make it through the program.”
“The fake news media is corrupt, okay? It’s corrupt. We’ve shown it so many times,” he fumed, adding: “So I’ll see you later on, NBC.”
His remarks received a smattering of applause until he returned to playing the hits, concluding the “fake news media is so corrupt.”