News outlets are howling at NBC News’ Matt Lauer after he allowed Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s claim he never supported the Iraq war to go unchecked with no follow up questions at last night’s “Commander In Chief” Forum broadcast on NBC and MSNBC.
Meanwhile, Lauer spent almost 13 minutes of his time (and several follow-up questions) with Democrat Hillary Clinton on her email controversy which has been investigated and found to be a non-starter by the FBI.
Reporters across the internet were live fact-checking Trump even as he repeated his often debunked version of history that he always opposed the war in Iraq.
As many now know, back in 2002 in an interview with Howard Stern, Trump was asked if he supported an invasion of Iraq and he responded, “Yeah, I guess so,” Trump responded. “I wish the first time it was done correctly.”
Trump’s statement last night via Politico:
“The main thing is: I have great judgment,” Trump said in response to a question as what he has done in his life that prepared him to send America’s men and women into harm’s way. “I heard Hillary Clinton say I was not against the war in Iraq. I was totally against the war in Iraq. You can look at Esquire magazine from 2004. You can look at before that. And I was against the war in Iraq, I said it’s going to totally destabilize the Middle East, which it has. It’s been a disastrous war. And perhaps almost as bad was the way Barack Obama got out. That was a disaster.”
NBC News eventually posted a fact-check online showing Trump lied during the forum after the fact.
Just a few responses from journalists:
Trump says he was against the 2003 war in Iraq, and cites a 2004 source. (In fact, at the time, he supported it.) #NBCNewsForum
— Nicholas Kristof (@NickKristof) September 8, 2016
I hate media-on-media violence, but Trump’s support for the invasion of Iraq has been…rather well documented. No Lauer follow-up?
— Olivier Knox (@OKnox) September 8, 2016
Seriously — everyone, and I mean everyone, knew this would happen. And Matt Lauer didn’t have a followup planned? https://t.co/mm5ufZKjEx
— Paul Krugman (@paulkrugman) September 8, 2016
Lauer says the night was a “success” Fact check: Pants on fire
— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) September 8, 2016
Maybe if Matt Lauer hadn’t spent 13 minutes on emails there’d be more time for ISIS. https://t.co/etCoYOiL28
— Matthew Gertz (@MattGertz) September 8, 2016
To sum up, in the end probably helps Clinton, especially uproar. Trump said idiotic things even with softballs. Lauer lost big time and…— Mike Signorile (@MSignorile) September 8, 2016
…rest of media is now on notice — including NYT & others. You’ll be Lauered (it had started already) unless you start dong real reporting— Mike Signorile (@MSignorile) September 8, 2016