NBC issues statement over President Donald Trump town hall controversy

Former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump
Former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump(KWQC)
Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 5:00 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Hours before a town hall featuring President Donald Trump is scheduled to air, NBC News officials are firing back over the controversy.

In a statement, NBCU News Chairman Cesar said the decision to air Trump’s town hall directly to compete with Vice President Joe Biden’s town hall on ABC was not business-based.

“We share in the frustration that our event will initially air alongside the first half of ABC’s broadcast with Vice President Biden. Our decision is motivated only by fairness, not business considerations. We aired a town hall with Vice President Biden on October 5 at 8pm. If we were to move our town hall with President Trump to a later timeslot we would be violating our commitment to offer both campaigns access to the same audience and the same forum. We hope voters will watch both discussions – ours will be available at any time, free and on-demand on YouTube, Peacock and all our digital news platforms," Cesar said.

The statement comes as many pundits and commentators are blasting NBC for considering a town hall with the president just over 10 days after he decided against taking part virtually in the previously scheduled presidential town hall debate.

The Commission on Presidential Debates ultimately decided to cancel the debate after the president tested positive for COVID-19.

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