Transcript via Meet The Press:
TODD: All right. Well, let’s back up here a minute. Let’s go to this Jersey City comment. You said you saw this. Nobody can find evidence of this. And, more importantly, the article that you tweeted out that’s backed you up, that in itself, there were three or four different reports that month in New Jersey that said it was a myth that was spread, that it was a false rumor. F.B.I., you name it. Where did you see this?
TODD: In Jersey City–
TRUMP: –many people. I said hundreds. In the area. I–
TODD: –you saw during Jersey City? Okay.
TRUMP: –heard Patterson. Excuse me. I’ve heard Jersey City. I’ve heard Patterson. It was 14 years ago. But I saw it on television. I saw clips. And so did many other people. And many people saw it in person. I’ve had hundreds of phone calls to the Trump Organization saying, “We saw it. It was dancing in the streets.” Now, by the way The Washington Post I tried to pull back, but the Washington Post reported tailgate parties and reports of tailgate parties.
Tailgate parties means, like, for a football game where you have hundreds and hundreds, and maybe even thousands, of people having tailgate parties. I saw it at the time. I stick by it. Hundreds of people have confirmed it.
TODD: This didn’t happen in New Jersey. There were plenty of reports. And you’re feeding that stereotype.
TRUMP: Chuck, it did happen in New Jersey. I have hundreds of people that agree with me.
TODD: But they want to agree with you that doesn’t make it true.
TRUMP: Chuck, you have a huge Muslim population over there. And that’s fine. But you have a huge Muslim population, between Patterson and different places and Jersey City, an unbelievable large population. If they’re going to be doing it at soccer games, if they’re going to be doing it all around the world, it was being done.
When the Trade Center came down, it was done all around the world. And you know that because that has been reported very strongly. Why wouldn’t it have taken place? I’ve had hundreds of people call in and tweet in on Twitter, saying that they saw it, and I was 100% right.
Now, the Washington Post also wrote about tailgate parties. We’re looking for other articles. And we’re looking for other clips. And I wouldn’t be surprised if we found them, Chuck. But for some reason, they’re not that easy to come by. I saw it. So many people saw it, Chuck. And, so, why would I take it back? I’m not going to take it back.
TODD: Well just because somebody repeats something doesn’t make it true. And I guess that’s actually–
TRUMP: Chuck, I’ve had hundreds. I don’t mean I had two calls, Chuck. Even yesterday, I was in Sarasota, Florida. And people were saying they lived in Jersey, they–
TODD: People weren’t saying. If I said people–
TRUMP: –moved down to Florida because taxes are a lot lower in Florida. They told me there that they saw it.
TODD: Mr. Trump. If I said, “Well, people have said Mr. Trump’s net worth is $10 billion,” you would say that was crazy. You wouldn’t make a business deal–
TRUMP: But that’s a very different. It’s much different.
TODD: –based on re-tweets and based on hearsay. You’re running for president of the United States. Your words matter. Truthfulness matters. Fact-based stuff matters.
TRUMP: Take it easy, Chuck. Just play cool….
Trump is selling himself as a big bad deal-maker who will get things done in Washington, but he couldn’t handle Todd questioning him with facts.
Trump was so far on the defensive that he tried to get Todd to calm down, even though the Meet The Press host was clearly not upset. Todd has been rightly criticized for his performance in the past, but during the Trump interview he did something that more members of the media should emulate.
Todd demanded facts and pressed Trump to back up his claims with evidence. Trump doesn’t have any evidence of Muslims tailgating and celebrating in the streets of New Jersey. All he has is a memory of something that he thinks he saw on television almost 15 years ago.
If Trump wins the nomination, it will be a disaster for the Republican cabal. If Donald Trump can’t handle Todd, he is completely unfit to be pretender.