On Tuesday, Donald Trump did something that he doesn't usually do and faced the questions of the US public as part of a televised town hall for ABC News.
Speaking to a reduced and socially distanced crowd in Philadelphia, Trump spoke to the reportedly 'uncommitted' voters which proved at least a chance for the president to win over a few members of the US electorate.
Although he wasn't at his most belligerent Trump was often left red-faced when trying to deflect the questions from the public and the relentless grilling from ABC anchor George Stephanopoulos.
The first question came from Paul Tubiana from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania who voted for Trump in 2016 who is a diabetic and wanted to know why Trump threw vulnerable people like him 'under the bus' in the pandemic.
Trump then proceeded to give him a lengthy as to why he hadn't let people like Paul down and had actually done a 'tremendous job' which prompted Stephanopoulos to produce a chart showing America's shocking mortality rate.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You said we're doing better in mortality than other countries. We're not. Here's a chart
TRUMP: Th… https://t.co/myYddCnST4
Next was Joni Powell from Pittsburg, who wanted to know why Trump deliberately downplayed the severity of coronavirus when he knew how deadly it was. Trump's answer will probably become the most memorable moment from this event where he boldly denies downplaying it and actually has the brass to say that he 'up-played it.'
Trump: I didn’t downplay it. I actually in many ways I up-played it, in terms of action. https://t.co/AdP80g2UPn
In another truly bizarre moment, Julie Bard asked Trump why he doesn't wear a mask in public. The president's response was to blame Joe Biden for not implementing a national mask mandate, which the Democratic nominee had vowed to do if he were to win in November. We're not sure how someone who isn't the president is supposed to implement a law but Trumps gonna Trump.
The President attempts to blame Joe Biden for not implementing a national mask mandate https://t.co/nq9J6cVFoR
The conversation then moved on to racial injustice. The first question on the topic from Laura Galvas saw Trump defend the police who killed unarmed Black citizens like George Floyd, Jacob Blake and Breonna Taylor by saying that some officers 'choke and make mistakes.'
"You'll have people choke" -- Trump on police violence https://t.co/q2ql1Cf2AT
Pastor Carl Day then quizzed Trump on his 'Make America Great Again' slogan and if the president had ever realised how tone-deaf it is for Black Americans. This lead to Trump trying to deny racism but Day stood his ground leading to a face-off between the pair.
Asked by a Black man to explain when America has every been great for Black people, Trump immediately changes the t… https://t.co/02gaPzyNQQ
On the topic of foreign policy where he tried to hype the peace deal he brokered between Israel and the UAE, Trump tries to claim that under the leadership of Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton that there would have been a nuclear war with North Korea and that he often receives messages from South Korean thanking him for what he did.
file this one under "things that never happened" https://t.co/85QVeItVjm
A running theme of the night was Trump denouncing 'Democrat states' and 'Democrat cities' as if he wasn't the president of those places. At one point he claimed that lawlessness in those locations wasn't his problem and tried to pin it on the Democrats and compared them to Berlin at the end of the Nazi regime.
After Trump claims lawlessness is "a Democrat problem," Stephanopoulos reminds him that he promised to restore law… https://t.co/TcOaLELgMU
Next was a moving question from Flora Cruceta, who had recently become a US citizen after moving from the Dominican Republic in 2006. A tearful Cruceta then recited her question which her mother, who had past away just a month ago had written, asking Trump what he plans to do to improve the immigration system and how it plans to allow migrants to vote in the future.
Trump's answer was to explain that he's got a brand new 'merit system' which he'll be announcing soon.
So we are doing something with immigration that I think is going to be very strong because we want people to come into our country, people like you and like your mother. And that just shows how vicious the Covid is, especially when you have another problem, you have a heart problem or another type of a problem.
And it’s a very sad story but we want people to come into our country. We want them to come in -- a lot of people but we want them to come in through a legal system. Through a system that -- they love our country. They work to come into our country. A merit system and we’re working on something very hard right now. And in a very short time we’re going to be announcing it. And I think it’s going to have quite an impact. I think it’s going to be something that actually will be popular for all.
The last question came from Ashley West, who asked the president what the hardest part of his time in office had been. Trump said that it had been coronavirus but then proceeded to blame China and denied that he couldn't have done anything else to stop the spread of Covid-19 in his country. He also said, for what feels like the millionth time that the 1918 flu pandemic happened in 1917.
Trump closes out the town hall by revealing he still hasn't figured out that the 1918 flu pandemic didn't happen in… https://t.co/c8NlNTqeFY