MSNBC’s Chris Matthews tried to force Donald Trump to address his past questioning of President Obama’s birth place following Tuesday night’s debate, but the billionaire candidate refused to play along.
Trump sat down with Matthews in the spin room to discuss the debate, and as the interview was wrapping up, the Hardball host said, “I want to ask you a last question before you leave.”
“You can leave, but I’d like you to stay,” Matthews continued. “Is Donald Trump honest when he says that Barack Obama isn’t a legitimate president? This is a good question.”
“I should not tell you this, but I do watch you a lot,” the candidate responded. “So I knew you were going to ask that question. And you know what I’ll say: I don’t talk about that anymore.”
Trump was among those who called into question earlier in the decade whether Obama was actually born in the United States, and therefore eligible to be president.
Matthews would not let the subject go, badgering the candidate regarding the subject.
“You’re going to take the oath of office and [believe] the president leaving the office is illegitimate?” the Hardball host pressed.
“I don’t answer that question because once I answer the question, they don’t want to talk about the economy, they don’t want to talk about all the other” issues, Trump replied.
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“We Catholics believe in confession: You say you were wrong and you move on. You really believe this guy is an illegitimate president?” Matthews asked again.
Trump did not budge: “I don’t want to answer the question.” He turned to Matthews, “Did you have a good time? Was it a good interview?”
Matthews said, “You’re a mixed bag. I’m allowed to say that.”
“I understand” the mogul responded. He shook Matthews’ hand and parted with, “You take care of yourself, great show.”
The MSNBC host had kind words to say about Trump on his program on Monday night, remarking, “He’s a guy who spent his life putting up these big buildings. I’m still impressed. I’m one of these kids who still looks…I’m in New York and go, ‘Wow, he built that, he built this, he built this.’”
The billionaire candidate reached out via Twitter to thank Matthews.
Thank you @hardball_chris for your nice words. They are very much appreciated. I fully understand that you really get it.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 15, 2015