At a town hall Thursday night, NBC News’ Savannah Guthrie went toe-to-toe with President Trump, giving him one of the most aggressive interviews he’s experienced as president.
Guthrie pressed the president on his COVID-19 diagnosis, his last negative test, his personal dislike for masks and the conspiracy group QAnon, pressing him and not letting him evade answering. The town hall was a replacement of sorts for the debate Mr. Trump was supposed to take part in Thursday night. But Guthrie was able to challenge Mr. Trump more than former Vice President Joe Biden and Fox News’ Chris Wallace did in an actual debate last month.
The NBC News journalist asked Mr. Trump about his retweet this week of a conspiracy theory that Biden orchestrated to have Seal Team 6 killed to cover up the fake death of Osama Bin Laden.
“Why would you send a lie like that to your followers?” Guthrie asked him.
“I know nothing about it,” Mr. Trump said.
“You retweeted it,” Guthrie pointed out.
“That was a retweet, that was an opinion of somebody, and that was a retweet. I’ll put it out there, people can decide for themselves, I don’t take a position,” the president responded.
“I don’t get that,” Guthrie countered. “You’re the president — you’re not like someone’s crazy uncle who can just retweet whatever!”
Guthrie also leaned hard into the topic of the president’s battle with COVID-19. Mr. Trump couldn’t answer whether he was tested on the day of the presidential debate in late September, shortly before he tested positive for the virus. The president, who has claimed to have one of the best memories, said he didn’t know and couldn’t remember.
He also admitted he isn’t always tested every day.
Guthrie pushed the president on the topic of masks, which the president claims he supports but rarely wears. Mr. Trump said “people with masks are catching” COVID-19 “all the time” and said he’s heard “different” things about masks.
Guthrie also challenged the president on his claim that he doesn’t know what QAnon is, despite having retweeted multiple QAnon accounts and having been asked about the conspiracy theory before.
“I don’t know,” the president said.
“You do know,” Guthrie countered.