Donald Trump lied, obfuscated, and refused to answer questions from undecided voters at an ABC News town hall in Pennsylvania.
Donald Trump was peppered with questions on Tuesday night from a series of undecided voters in the critical swing state of Pennsylvania.
In the hourlong event, Trump lied about his record, refused to take responsibility for the problems the country faces under his watch, and often ignored the questions the voters asked him altogether, resulting in a bumbling performance.
Here are the seven most ridiculous comments Trump made during the town hall event Tuesday night, which was hosted by ABC News.
Trump questioned why Joe Biden didn't implement a mask mandate
Early on in the town hall, a voter asked Trump why he doesn't support a nationwide mask mandate and why he doesn't wear masks himself.
Trump tried to place the responsibility for a mask mandate onto Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden — who is not currently president and thus has no power to implement a nationwide mask mandate.
"I will say this. They said at the Democrat convention they're going to do a national mandate. They never did it, because they've checked out and they didn't do it," Trump said.
When moderator George Stephanopoulos reminded Trump that Biden has indeed called on governors — who can issue mask mandates in their states — to require masks, Trump replied, "Well no, but he didn't do it. I mean, he never did it."
Again, Biden is not currently president.
Trump says waiters don't want masks
After Trump ridiculously said it was Biden's responsibility to issue mask mandates, Trump then went on to say there are people who "don't want to wear masks" and "think that masks are not good."
Stephanopoulos pushed Trump to say who those people are, to which Trump replied "waiters."
"They come over and they serve you, and they have a mask," Trump said. "And I saw it the other day where they were serving me, and they're playing with the mask. I'm not blaming them. I'm just saying what happens. They're playing with the mask, so the mask is over, and they're touching it, and then they're touching the plate. That can't be good."
There is no data showing that "waiters" think masks are bad and don't want to wear them.
Restaurant employees have expressed fear about going back to work amid the pandemic because of the way the virus spreads indoors.
Trump says he 'up-played' the virus
Another town hall attendee asked Trump why he downplayed the virus, a question referring to the bombshell revelation last week that Trump knew the coronavirus was extremely deadly and yet repeatedly told the public it was no more deadly than the seasonal flu.
Trump lied in his response.
"Well, I didn't downplay it. I actually — in many ways I up-played it in terms of action. My action was very strong," Trump said, even though he admitted in a taped conversation with reporter Bob Woodward early on in the COVID-19 pandemic that he was downplaying the threat.
Trump again makes bizarre Winston Churchill reference
After Stephanopoulos pressed Trump on whether he thought it was "OK to be dishonest" about the coronavirus threat — as Trump was during the pandemic — Trump went on to use bizarre and flat-out false metaphor involving former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
"When Churchill was on the top of a building, and he said everything's going to be good, everything's going to be — be calm. And you have the Nazis dropping bombs all over London. He was very brave because he was at the top of a building. It was very well known that he was standing on buildings, and they were bombing. And he says everyone's going to be safe," Trump said, as part of a bizarre pattern of comparing himself to Churchill.
But his statements are not true.
Churchill did not stand on top of buildings while the Nazis bombed London, nor did he lie to the British people by saying, "Everything's going to be good."
Rather, Churchill was honest about the threat the Nazis posed, saying in a speech that his country faced "an ordeal of the most grievous kind."
Trump says the United States will build a 'herd mentality' on COVID-19
Stephanopoulos asked Trump why he continues to say the coronavirus will "disappear" without a vaccine — an assertion public health experts like coronavirus task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci have said is false.
Trump replied: "And you'll develop — you'll develop herd, like a herd mentality. It's going to be — it's going to be herd-developed, and that's going to happen. That will all happen."
It seems Trump was likely trying to refer to "herd immunity."
However, Fauci has said that building herd immunity — which involves a population building immunity to a virus as more people become infected and recover — without a vaccine would lead to an "enormous" number of deaths.
Fauci said in August that building herd immunity without a vaccine would lead to a death toll that's "totally unacceptable."
Trump lies about his record on preexisting conditions
In one of the most contentious exchanges of the night, Trump lied numerous times to a woman with a preexisting condition about his record on health care and preexisting conditions.
Trump claimed he is "not going to hurt preexisting conditions" even as he is currently waging a lawsuit to repeal the Affordable Care Act without any replacement plan. The act, also known as Obamacare, banned health insurance companies from denying coverage to people with preexisting conditions.
Trump then lied about having a health care plan that would be better than Obamacare and also protect preexisting conditions, even though he's been promising a plan for years and has still yet to release it.
"I have it all ready, and it's a much better plan for you, and it's a much better plan," Trump said, without giving any details about what that plan is or entails.
Stephanopoulos pointed out to Trump that he has promised such a plan numerous times but has never released it.
"I interviewed you in June of last year, you said the health care plan would come in two weeks. You could Chris Wallace that this summer it'd come in three weeks," Stephanopoulos said
Trump claims the economy is doing well because the stock market is good
Stephanopoulos asked Trump about the economic recovery from the coronavirus, pointing out that people who were well-off before the pandemic are doing OK, but those at the bottom are not.
Trump then claimed everyone is "doing well," saying "stocks are owned by everybody."
"You know, they talk about the stock market is so good, that's 401(k)s. I'm meeting people with — as long as they didn't sell when the market went down, when we first realized the extent of this horrible thing from China, I mean these people are doing, some of them are doing better than they were doing before the pandemic came," Trump said.
Stocks are not owned by everybody.
A Gallup poll from June found 55% of Americans said they owned stock, a little over half the country. Those numbers get lower and lower depending on someone's education level and socioeconomic status, with just 33% of people without a college degree owning stock, and 22% of people who earn less than $40,000 a year owning stock, according to the Gallup survey.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.