Real-estate mogul and GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump is going to war with the media for allegedly taking his controversial remarks about Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona) out of context.
Trump went on NBC’s “Today” show Monday and repeatedly criticised its anchors, Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie, for not quoting him in full.
“Savannah and the media and has just done such a false number, as usual,” Trump lamented at one point.
At a Saturday forum in Iowa, Trump claimed McCain, who was held captive for more than five years during the Vietnam War, was not a war hero. But he promptly reversed himself and repeatedly said McCain was, in fact, a hero.
Lauer asked Trump if he would stand by what he initially said.
“Let me ask you this, Donald. Would you say to John McCain’s face what you said in that one comment. And I’m using the one string of sentences together: ‘He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured,'” Lauer said.
Trump and Lauer then tried to talk over one another as the real-estate developer criticised the question as misleading.
“Excuse me. Excuse me, Matt, because you’re the media and you do the same thing,” Trump said. “The next sentence was: ‘He is a war hero.’ I said that. But they never want to play it. And you don’t want to play it. And you started it off.”
“Excuse me. You started it off. Hey Matt, Savannah started it off by saying I said that he wasn’t a war hero. I didn’t say that. And if you would have let it run just another three seconds,” he added. “I said very clearly he is a war hero.”
Lauer then objected to Trump’s claim as the two continued to interrupt one another. The anchor told Trump that the show actually aired the full context of his remarks.
“Let me just — let me say for the record. Let me say for the record: We did run the other part of your comments, Mr. Trump. We did run the part where you said, ‘He is a war hero.’ So please, please don’t say that we didn’t because we did,” Lauer said.
The testy interview continued, as Trump shot back at the anchors.
“Well, then why did Savannah start off by saying that I said that he was not a war hero? I never said that. I said he was a war hero, Matt,” Trump said. “So you misrepresent — just like everybody else.”
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