As Joe Biden spoke, President Trump appeared at a rival town hall event in Miami, Florida, hosted by NBC. The network’s decision to give Trump a simultaneous platform drew protests from NBC News anchors and journalists. Columbia Journalism Review editor Kyle Pope called it a “craven ratings stunt.”
During the one-hour broadcast, Trump falsely claimed that 85% of people wearing masks catch the coronavirus, said he was unaware of whether he took a coronavirus test ahead of his debate with Joe Biden in late September, and did not deny that he’s more than $400 million in debt — just wouldn’t say to whom. Pressed by NBC anchor Savannah Guthrie, Trump refused to disavow the far-right, anti-Semitic QAnon conspiracy theory.
Savannah Guthrie: “Let me ask you about QAnon. It is this theory that Democrats are a satanic pedophile ring and that you are the savior of that. Now, can you just, once and for all, state that that is completely not true” —
President Donald Trump: “So, I know you — yeah.”
Savannah Guthrie: — “and disavow QAnon in its entirety?”
President Donald Trump: “I know nothing about QAnon.”
Savannah Guthrie: “I just told you.”
President Donald Trump: “I know very little — you told me, but what you tell me doesn’t necessarily make it fact. I hate to say that. I know nothing about it. I do know they are very much against pedophilia. They fight it very hard. But I know nothing about it.”
Trump’s own FBI Director Christopher Wray has identified QAnon as a domestic terrorism threat.