Wednesday saw a Presidential Forum specifically focused on Veterans issues aired on MSNBC hosted by Matt Lauer with both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in attendance. Lauer dedicated half of Clinton’s time to probing her with back to back questions on her emails. He wouldn’t find satisfaction in any answer she gave. Thereafter, with Trump he asked questions but did not look to Trump’s record to call him out on a lack of consistency.
In doing so he interrogated and smeared Hillary Clinton while letting Donald Trump escape the event having told a huge lie. Clinton specifically pointed out that Trump was for the Iraq war on Howard Stern’s show, she knew exactly when it happened. When Trump came on thereafter and said that he was always against the war, Lauer failed to do his job. That probably explains why he won’t be hosting a Presidential Debate.
Rachel Maddow pointed out afterwards that Lauer was burdened with highly dissimilar candidates to interview. His job was to narrow down Hillary who took broad positions and he needed to nail down what she meant. With Trump, his positions lack specificity, so his burden was to draw Trump out.
Not only was Trump allowed to lie about his history of endorsing the Iraq War, he also made comments not steeped in reality about oil. He suggested that a strategy to combat ISIS would be to take all of the oil in Iraq. There’s just one problem, ISIS isn’t taking any of the oil in Iraq. Additionally, Lauer failed to point out that Trump is suggesting staying on the ground there perhaps indefinitely with such a policy, not to mention that taking the oil would violate International Law.
Watch the encounter below, what do you think Lauer should have done?