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Igor Derysh September 16, 2020 4:23PM (UTC)

Fox News host Laura Ingraham described President Donald Trump's Tuesday ABC News town hall as an "ambush" after he was questioned by undecided voters and repeatedly fact-checked by moderator George Stephanopoulos.

Ingraham, who is essentially an informal Trump adviser, complained that the town hall was moderated by a "Clintonite" — a reference to Stephanopoulos' time as an aide for former President Bill Clinton — and argued that the "DNC may have put the whole thing on.



"The president loves mixing it up with everybody," she claimed. "He did the interview with Jonathan Swan, the 18 tapes of Bob Woodward — now he did this. But this is an ambush."

Guest John McLaughlin, one of Trump's favorite famously-wrong pollsters, noted during the segment that Trump "was very sensitive and demonstrated empathy" when he was questioned by a woman who had just lost her mother.

McLaughlin did not mention that the woman's mother died from cancer, but Trump repeatedly referred to the woman's mother dying of "COVID."


Trump had a tough night facing questions from actual voters rather than the White House press pool as he repeatedly attempted to deflect blame from his coronavirus response.

Julie Bart, a retired chemical engineer, asked Trump why he did not support a mask mandate — and why he did not wear his mask "more often."

Trump insisted that the had worn masks in hospitals and other places before inexplicably blaming Democrats for not instituting a mask mandate.


"They said at the Democrat Convention . . . they're going to do a national mandate. They never did it," Trump said. "Because they're checked out, they never did it."

He went on to blame Democratic rival Joe Biden, who is not the president, for failing to call for a mask mandate, which he did.


"To be clear: I am not currently president," Biden quipped on Twitter.

Trump claimed in the segment that "a lot of people think the masks are not good."

"Who are those people?" Stephanopoulos pressed.

"Waiters," Trump responded. 

Another voter asked why Trump chose to downplay the pandemic, which has disproportionately impacted low-income communities and people of color.


"I didn't downplay it. I actually — in many ways, I up-played it, in terms of action. My action was very strong," Trump insisted, even though he admitted to journalist Bob Woodward that he wanted to "always play it down"

Paul Tubiana, who said he voted for Trump in 2016, described himself as "conservative, pro-life and diabetic."

"I've had to dodge people who don't care about social distancing and wearing face masks," he said. "I thought you were doing a good job with the pandemic response until about May 1. Then you took your foot off the gas pedal. Why did you throw vulnerable people like me under the bus?"


"We really didn't Paul," Trump replied, insisting that his leadership was better than previous administrations.

During another point, Stephanopoulos pressed Trump on his claim that the coronavirus would "disappear."

"It would go away without the vaccine . . . but it's going to go away a lot faster with it," Trump doubled down, before claiming that "you'll develop like a herd mentality. It's going to be herd-developed, and that's going to happen. That will all happen."

Trump was apparently referring to "herd immunity," which scientists believe would require well over half the country to be infected with a disease that often has serious longterm health impacts and would likely kill at least one million people in the U.S. alone.


Ellesia Blaque, a professor, pressed Trump on his push to repeal Obamacare, which includes protections for people with pre-existing conditions such as her.

Trump interrupted during the question to insist he does not support striking down pre-existing condition protections, even though his administration is suing to strike down the entire Obamacare law.

"Please stop, and let me finish my question, sir," Blaque replied. "Should that be removed within a 36- to 72-hour period without my medication, I will be dead."

Trump cited his executive order, which he dubiously claimed protected people with pre-existing conditions. Stephanopoulous pushed back.


"You fought to repeal Obamacare. You're arguing the Supreme Court right now to strike it down — that would do away with pre-existing conditions," he said. "I interviewed you in June of last year. You said the healthcare plan would come in two weeks. You could Chris Wallace that this summer it'd come in three weeks."

"It doesn't matter. I have it all ready, and it's a much better plan for you," Trump responded, offering no details on his better healthcare plan.

During another segment, Pastor Carl Day pressed Trump on his campaign slogan.

"You've coined the phrase 'Make America Great Again.' When has America been great for African-Americans in the ghetto of America?" he asked. "Are you aware of how tone-deaf that comes off to the African-American community?"


Trump responded by claiming he was doing well with Black voters in the polls (he is not) and bragged that Black Americans experienced "the best single moment in the history of the African-American people in this country" before the pandemic.

Day pressed Trump on why he refused to acknowledge there was a "race problem" in America.

"Well, I hope there's not a race problem," Trump replied. "I can tell you, there's none with me."

Igor Derysh

Igor Derysh is a staff writer at Salon. His work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald and Baltimore Sun.

Tips/Email: Twitter: @IgorDerysh

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General Hospital Recap Spoilers: Dantes Given His Mission Questions Regarding His Confinement Emerge

During Tuesday’s episode of General Hospital, Dante Falconeri was put to the test. He will soon head back to Port Charles and tackle a new mission, but spoilers hint that this could get messy on multiple fronts. Viewers have been speculating for a while now regarding who the target of this upcoming assignment could be, and some additional hints emerged during the September 22 show.

According to SheKnows Soaps, General Hospital fans can expect to see Dante back in Port Charles this fall. Spoilers indicate that he will arrive back home just as the romance between his ex-wife Lulu Spencer and her current beau Dustin Phillips heats up. Some people have wondered if Dustin could be hiding something big, and now it seems that may very well be the case.

Tuesday’s episode showed Dante exploding when his doctor told him that the opportunity to return to Port Charles while digging around for the WSB had been rescinded. Shortly after he exploded, he was told that he had just been put through a test of sorts. Despite concerns regarding whether or not he was truly ready to handle returning home, he was given a folder with details about his upcoming mission.

Previously, he had been told that this investigation would involve someone with a close connection to him. General Hospital followers have considered plenty of theories, but nothing definitive had been revealed. People did not get to see who was referenced in the file, but that didn’t slow down a fresh round of speculation.

General Hospital fans did not miss the fact that right after Dante started to review the file he was given, the action shifted to a scene focused on Brando Corbin. Is Brando the target? The two men are both related to Sonny Corinthos, so that would match the teaser about this being someone Dante’s connected to in some sense.

  David Livingston / Getty Images

Ever since Brando suddenly arrived in town, General Hospital viewers have had a hunch there was more to his story. He may not be the one who will be the focus of Dante’s next gig, but it would seem to fit what’s been teased previously.

“INTERESTING. Could Brando be Dante’s target? Or just going to him was a coincidence?” one viewer mused on Twitter.

Dante’s physician was seen talking to someone about the situation toward the end of Tuesday’s show. General Hospital viewers weren’t shown who was on the other side of this conversation and that prompted some additional speculation.

“I wonder if this person this doctor is working for is the same person who has Holly…so help me god if it’s Peter, that’s dumb!” someone questioned.

“I wonder who the doctor was talking to about Dante’s mission. Frisco Jones??? Kim Delaney’s character???” another person wondered.

Other names that popped up on Twitter after this intriguing development included those of Jerry Jacks, Helena Cassadine, and Cesar Faison.

If there is a connection between Dante and Holly both being held, that could mean something much bigger than General Hospital fans had envisioned. It certainly seems like more than a coincidence at this point, and it might be a hint that a massive bombshell of sorts is about to drop.

How soon will people get answers? General Hospital spoilers don’t reveal anything else juicy about what’s on the horizon with this, but everybody seems intrigued and anxious for more.

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