Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, an adviser to GOP nominee Donald Trump, suggested after Monday night’s showdown that Trump should maybe skip the two remaining presidential debates.
The next debate on the schedule is between vice presidential nominees Indiana Gov. Mike Pence and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) on Oct. 4.
On Oct. 9, Trump and Hillary Clinton are scheduled to debate in St. Louis. The co-moderators are ABC’s Martha Raddatz and CNN’s Anderson Cooper.
The final presidential debate is scheduled for Oct. 19, with Fox News’ Chris Wallace moderating.
Giuliani lashed out at NBC’s Lester Holt, moderator of Monday night’s debate, to reporters after the event: “If I were Donald Trump I wouldn’t participate in another debate unless I was promised that the journalist would act like a journalist and not an incorrect, ignorant fact checker,” he said. “The moderator would have to promise that there would be a moderator and not a fact checker and in two particular cases an enormously ignorant, completely misinformed fact checker.”
“If you wonder why Donald Trump thinks that the press is a left-wing basically oriented group, Lester Holt proved it tonight,” Giuliani added, noting that on the debate-ditch advice, “I didn’t say what I’m advising him, I said what I would do.”
An NBC reporter asked Trump after the debate if he would participate in the next two, and the real-estate mogul said he would.
It was this exchange that piqued the ire of the former mayor:
HOLT: Your two — your two minutes expired, but I do want to follow up. Stop-and-frisk was ruled unconstitutional in New York, because it largely singled out black and Hispanic young men.
TRUMP: No, you’re wrong. It went before a judge, who was a very against-police judge. It was taken away from her. And our mayor, our new mayor, refused to go forward with the case. They would have won an appeal. If you look at it, throughout the country, there are many places where it’s allowed.
HOLT: The argument is that it’s a form of racial profiling.
TRUMP: No, the argument is that we have to take the guns away from these people that have them and they are bad people that shouldn’t have them.
Trump and Holt also clashed over Trump’s 2002 interview with Howard Stern, in which the shock-jock asked the billionaire if he was “for invading Iraq.”
“Yeah I guess so,” Trump responded. “I wish the first time it was done correctly.”
On Monday night, Trump said his answer to Stern was done “lightly.”
HOLT: Mr. Trump, a lot of these are judgment questions. You had supported the war in Iraq before the invasion. What makes your…
TRUMP: I did not support the war in Iraq.
HOLT: In 2002…
TRUMP: That is a mainstream media nonsense put out by her, because she — frankly, I think the best person in her campaign is mainstream media.
HOLT: My question is, since you supported it…
TRUMP: Just — would you like to hear…
HOLT: … why is your — why is your judgment…
TRUMP: Wait a minute. I was against the war in Iraq. Just so you put it out.
HOLT: The record shows otherwise, but why — why was…
TRUMP: The record does not show that.
HOLT: Why was — is your judgment any…
TRUMP: The record shows that I’m right. When I did an interview with Howard Stern, very lightly, first time anyone’s asked me that, I said, very lightly, I don’t know, maybe, who knows? Essentially. I then did an interview with Neil Cavuto. We talked about the economy is more important. I then spoke to Sean Hannity, which everybody refuses to call Sean Hannity. I had numerous conversations with Sean Hannity at Fox. And Sean Hannity said — and he called me the other day — and I spoke to him about it — he said you were totally against the war, because he was for the war.
UPDATE 12:45 p.m. EST: Asked aboard her campaign plane today if she’s concerned that Trump won’t show up for the next debate, Clinton responded, “Well, I’m going to show up. He gets to decide what he’s going to, but I will be there at Wash U in St. Louis and then after that in Los Vegas. If I’m the only person on stage, well, you know, I’m the only person on stage.”