Donald Trump finally agreed to three debates with Hillary Clinton this week, but he was only willing to commit under a series of conditions.
According to Western Journalism, Trump announced that he will be negotiating the terms upon which those debates will take place. The debates are set to take place on Sept. 26 in Hempstead, N.Y., Oct. 9 in St. Louis, and Oct. 19 in Las Vegas. A vice presidential debate has also been scheduled on Farmville, Va., on Oct. 4.
“I will absolutely do three debates…I want to debate very badly,” Trump said in an interview with Time magazine. “But I have to see the conditions.”
One of Trump’s conditions is that he have input on who the debates’ moderators are. This came after Trump believed he was treated unfairly when Megyn Kelly moderated the GOP primary debates.
“I’ll have to see who the moderators are. Yeah, I would say that certain moderators would be unacceptable, absolutely,” Trump said of his debates with Clinton. “I want to have fair moderators … I will demand fair moderators.”
Though the Commission on Presidential Debates said the debate format is non-negotiable, Trump is confident he’ll still be able to have a say in what happens.
“I renegotiated the debates in the primaries, remember?” Trump said. “They were making a fortune on them and they had us in for three and a half hours and I said that’s ridiculous. I’m sure they’ll be open to any suggestions I have, because I think they’ll be very fair suggestions.”
— Mediaite (@Mediaite) August 9, 2016
“I did very well in the debates on the primaries,” Trump added. “According to the polls, I won all of them. So I look forward to the debates.”
Clinton campaign spokesperson John Podesta slammed Trump’s attempts to control the moderators and negotiate, saying this is just Trump’s “shenanigans.”
“It is concerning that the Trump campaign is already engaged in shenanigans around these debates,” Podesta said Monday. “It is not clear if he is trying to avoid debates, or merely toying with the press to create more drama. Either way, our campaign is not interested in playing along with a debate about debates or bargaining around them.”
“The only issue now is whether Donald Trump is going to show up to debate at the date, times, places and formats set by the commission last year through a bipartisan process. We will accept the commission’s invitation and expect Donald Trump to do the same.”
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