MSNBC host Ayman Mohyeldin delivered a brutal fact-check after Trump campaign adviser, Steve Cortes, couldn’t provide evidence backing the campaign’s baseless claim that Joe Biden’s campaign backed out of an agreement to inspect the Democratic presidential nominee for in-ear devices.
Mohyeldin cut the interview short as Cortes yelled in objection and accused the host of having called him a “liar.”
Hours before Tuesday’s presidential debate, the Trump campaign claimed that Biden’s team had previously agreed to a pre-debate inspection for electronic earpieces but then reversed themselves on the day of the debate.
Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh claimed that along with Biden’s “refusal to take a drug test, it seems pretty obvious that the Biden team is looking for any safety net they can find.”
The Biden campaign said that no such agreement had been reached and that the Trump team was just trying to muddy the waters and push unhinged conspiracies ahead of the debate.
Biden deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield called the claim “completely absurd,” “pathetic,” and that the Trump campaign was “lying.”
During a heated interview with Mohyeldin, the MSNBC anchor noted that the Trump campaign had spent tens of thousands of dollars pushing Facebook ads using clearly doctored photos showing Biden wearing an ear pod during the debate.
“The Biden team said this is entirely made up,” Mohyeldin noted. “And yet, your comments were used to misinform millions of people on Fox News before the debate.”
After playing a clip of Cortes insisting that the Biden campaign agreed to an ear inspection and then backed out, Mohyeldin asked Cortes whether he’d like to apologize for misleading the public with a false statement.
“No, I didn’t mislead anybody,” Cortes insisted, adding: “Give me your proof that it’s false.”
“That’s not how it works,” Mohyeldin shot back. “You don’t make a false statement and say prove it’s not false.”
Mohyeldin went on to ask who made the agreement between the campaigns that Cortes keeps citing, promoting the Cortes to respond: “I don’t know… I don’t know where the agreement is.”
The MSNBC host kept pressing asking the Trump surrogate to at least provide a name so the network could follow up on his claims.
“It’s an entire team! An entire team,” Cortes exclaimed.
After a heated back-and-forth, Moyheldin ended the interview.
“When you find out who from your team made that agreement, and the specific agreement, please bring the documents, the emails, the agreement, anything you can provide to substantiate the claim that was used to misinform millions of people in our country,” Moyheldin declared.
Not a good day for Steve pic.twitter.com/L9RcDQCCG7
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) October 1, 2020