(MSNBC)

Trump campaign manager blames Clinton campaign for "gaming the refs" after Trump whined about Lester Holt being a Democrat

(He's a Republican.)


Taylor Link
September 26, 2016 7:52PM (UTC)

Donald Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway appeared on MSNBC’s "Morning Joe" this morning to game the refs hours before the most anticipated presidential debate in decades.

“Excuse the Trump campaign if we feel like we can’t get a fair shake from certain people,” Conway said.

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Acting as a surrogate for the Republican candidate, who has conspicuously avoided interviews on networks not named Fox News, Conway faced intense questions about Trump’s decision to call tonight’s debate moderator Lester Holt “a Democrat,” even though the “NBC Nightly News” anchor is a registered Republican.

“He didn’t lie. A lie would mean he knew the man’s party registration,” Conway said.

Last week, Donald Trump made an appearance on Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” where he pronounced Holt a Democrat.

“Look, it’s a phony system. Lester is a Democrat. I mean, they are all Democrats. Okay? It’s a very unfair system,” Trump said.

Asked to explain Trump’s inaccurate statement, Conway blamed Clinton campaign staffers for the deceit and mean-spirited gamesmanship leading up to the debates.

“What bothers us is the very public and very coordinated attempt to game the refs, the idea that Jen Palmieri and Robby Mook and others… the idea that they are out there publicly telling the media this is what you should be doing. It is irresponsible,” she said.

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In the same breath, Conway then began to game the refs, scolding the press pool covering Trump's campaign.

"There are people who cover our campaign who actually just slander our candidate on Twitter. 92 percent —I have them all on my desk, we printed them all out — 92 percent of at least two of our embeds tweets are negative toward Donald Trump. Why are they on our campaign plane? Why are they covering our campaign if they can't say, 'hey look at this crowd,'" Conway said.

The gamesmanship leading up to tonight's debate got personal over the weekend when Trump threatened to bring Gennifer Flowers, a mistress of Bill Clinton when he was the Governor of Arkansas, to the debate, a childish counter to the news that Mark Cuban, an actual billionaire, would be sitting front row at the debate thanks to arrangements made by the Clinton campaign. Conway later said that the invitation was "informal."

Watch Conway's appearance on "Morning Joe" below, courtesy of MSNBC:

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Taylor Link

Taylor Link is an assistant editor at Salon. You can find him on Twitter at @taylorlink_

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2016 Debates Donald Trump Elections 2016 Kellyanne Conway Morning Joe Msnbc Reader Polls

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