Donald Trump's efforts to squeeze himself back into the news cycle seem to be paying off. Now he's caught people's attention by berating an MSNBC host about all the people phoning him, including MSNBC itself. He chewed out Chuck Todd on air this morning while he interviewed Trump by phone about that GOP primary debate he's hilariously trying to host. Todd started out with seemingly fair question about a new poll that suggests that a Trump endorsement could hurt a candidate's chances.
CHUCK TODD: Let me let you respond to those poll numbers ... More Republicans in Iowa and New Hampshire both say that it would make them less likely to support that candidate. Your response.
What was wrong with that? A lot, according to Trump. He was upset because Todd's phrasing made it seem like it was Trump who called MSNBC to do an interview. But no, it was the another way around.
DONALD TRUMP: Let me just start by saying, I was watching the show for about two minutes and you said Donald Trump wanted to respond to a poll. Well I didn't even know what poll you're talking about, No. 1, Chuck. No. 2, I didn’t call you -- you called me about 40 times trying to get me on the show. I didn't call you. So your statement is false... I didn’t want to respond, your people called my office about 40 times asking me to go onto the show. So it’s dishonest what you’re saying, Chuck. I wish you would just sort of say it like it is. I really think you'd do better, honestly. I think you would get better ratings if you did that.
Todd was interviewing Trump by phone, so all viewers saw was the host nervously smiling and sipping his coffee on air while Trump laid into him. But it's not like Todd was entirely wrong. It was evident that Trump "wanted" to respond to the poll, regardless of who called whom, because he agreed to the interview. But talking to Trump, you get the impression that every important person is calling his office, including Jon Huntsman, the topic of the next round of questions. Huntsman and Ron Paul said over the weekend that he won't show up to the Trump debate.
DONALD TRUMP: I think most of the important candidates will come. Huntsman has 1 percent of the vote. I don't think he's coming. And by the way Mr. Huntsman called my office a number of times to set up a meeting with him. I didn't have a meeting with him. And then he went on a debate and said, I didn't meet with Mr. Trump like everybody else in the room. So, you know, I'm sure he'll tell the truth about that because he's a Mormon.
Trump took down Huntsman along with Paul on Today this morning as well. But Huntsman didn't phone Trump to offer his response, though. He went on Fox News, taking the jab against his religion with humor according to Think Progress: "I’m not going to kiss his ring, and I’m not going to kiss any other part of his anatomy. This is exactly what's wrong with politics. It's showbusiness over substance."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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