President Donald Trump, who argued that the debates during the 2016 campaign were rigged against him, is reportedly mulling the possibility of sitting out any such encounters during next year’s campaign.
According to The New York Times, Trump has told campaign advisers that he does not trust the Commission on Presidential Debates that sponsors the match-ups.
Trump has said that he was deliberately put at a disadvantage by the commission during his debates with Hillary Clinton in 2016. In one incident, he said a defective microphone that altered the volume of his voice might have been sabotaged on purpose.
I won the debate if you decide without watching the totally one-sided "spin" that followed. This despite the really bad microphone.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 1, 2016
He also complained when the commission would not allow him to seat a group of women who have charged former President Bill Clinton with sexual harassment in his designated VIP area, which Bill Clinton would have been forced to walk by at the event.
Trump also took issue with the fact that two of the debates were scheduled on the same nights as popular NFL football games. He tweeted that Democrats were “trying to rig the debates.”
Post-debates polls showed that Clinton gained ground following each of her debates with Trump. One taken after the third debate, for example, had 60 percent of respondents saying she outperformed the future president and only 31 percent favoring Trump.
In other debate-related dust-ups, Trump also famously sparred with Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly after she questioned him about referring to women he doesn’t like as “fat pigs,” “slobs,” and “disgusting animals” during a debate before the 2016 Republican primaries.