Real-estate magnate Donald Trump seemed to befuddle CNBC’s debate moderators Wednesday night when he claimed he was never critical of Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg — even though the quote in question was posted on his campaign website.
“Mr. Trump, let’s stay on the issue of immigration. You have been very critical of Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook who has wanted to increase the number of these H1-Bs,” moderator Becky Quick said, referring to visas that permit US employers to employ foreign workers for specific occupations for a limited amount of time.
“I was not at all critical of him — I was not at all,” Trump replied, complaining that the country doesn’t keep more foreign students after they graduate from US college. “I am all in favour of keeping these talented people here so they can go to work in Silicon Valley. So I have not been at all critical of him.”
“So where did I read this?” Quick asked.
In fact, she read it on Trump’s campaign website, where it is included in his immigration platform.
“Mark Zuckerberg’s personal Senator, Marco Rubio, has a bill to triple H-1Bs that would decimate women and minorities,” the platform reads.
After the next break, Quick returned to the question and said she discovered the source of the quote.
“I found where I read that before. It was from the DonaldJTrump.co
Trump shifted the discussion to jobs in general.
“I am in favour of people coming into this country legally. And you know what? They can have it any way you want. You can call it visas. You can call it work permits. You can call it anything you want. I have created tens of thousands of jobs,” he said. “And I’ll be creating many millions of jobs if I’m given the opportunity to be president.”
He added: “As far as Mark [Zuckerberg] is concerned — as far as the visas are concerned — if we need people, it’s fine, they have to come into this country legally.”
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