Debate organizers are “gaming the system” with Democratic moderators who will savage him to spare themselves the kind of criticism Matt Lauer got for his moderation of NBC’s Commander-in-Chief Forum, Donald Trump tells FNC’s Bill O’Reilly tonight.
“What they are doing is they are gaming the system, like gaming the ref,” Trump told The O’Reilly Factor host as the GOP candidate continues his campaign to manage expectations for the upcoming debates with Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. “They are also going after Lester. They’re trying to intimidate Lester and I think the world is going to be watching that…Lester is a professional, but we’ll see what happens.”
“By the way, Lester is a Democrat. It’s a phony system. They are all Democrats. It’s a very unfair system.”
Donald Trump Revels In Emmy Awards Bashing
Pivoting 180, Trump adds, “I’ve worked pretty well within the system. I guess by a lot of polls I’m leading many of the polls and most of the polls.”
Watch on Deadline
“I’m not okay with Anderson Cooper, because I think he treats me very unfairly at CNN,” Trump said of the second debate moderator. He did not seem to have an opinion on ABC’s Martha Raddatz, who is co-moderating the second, town-hall style debate with Cooper.
Cooper, says Trump, is “very unfair on CNN. I think CNN – they call it the Clinton News Network. That’s why the ratings aren’t doing very well because who’s going to watch that?”
Even so, Trump said of that second debate, “I’ll show up,” then reminded O’Reilly, “Look, they’re gaming the ref.”
FNC’s Chris Wallace is another of those debate moderators who Trump told O’Reilly were “all Democrats.” Wallace is moderating the third debate. Trump called him “fair” and said he’s “never had a problem with him.”
Trump recently told Larry King he supports Wallace’s vow not to fact-check the candidates during that debate. Trump said the candidates “should police themselves,” and that he had “absolutely no idea” if he will attack Clinton personally during the debates. If he does, it will be because she asked for it. He explained:
“If she treats me with respect, I will treat her with respect. It really depends. People ask me that question, ‘Oh, you’re going to go out there and do this and that. I really don’t know that. You’re going to have to feel it out when you’re out there. She’s got to treat me with respect. I’m going to treat her with respect. I’d like to start off by saying that because that would be my intention.”
Next week’s debate is scheduled for Monday, September 26, 9 PM ET/6 PM PT. Topics for the debate are America’s Direction, Achieving Prosperity and Securing America. The topics were of Holt’s choosing, according to the Commission on Presidential Debates.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.