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Jon Karl Grills Trump Flack About Debate: Is Trump ‘Afraid of Facing Off with Bernie Sanders?’

6thumbWhile Donald Trump‘s campaign manager was busy reassuring Chris Wallace that he doesn’t think Trump is bugging his own staff, Donald Trump’s other campaign manager was on This Week spinning a new excuse for Trump chickening out of a debate with Bernie Sanders. Host Jonathan Karl grilled Trump campaign manager and future Ben Gazzara one-man-show star Paul Manafort about Trump’s “flip-flop” on debating Sanders, which Trmup at first agree to, and then chickened out of.

Manafort gave a slightly new twist on Trump’s excuse that he actually contradicted seconds before Karl asked about it. Right after telling Karl that Trump “clinched the nomination the first week in June — in May,” he told Karl that Trump backed out of the debate because Trump clinched the nomination this week:

MANAFORT: I mean we clinched the nomination the first week in June — in May.

…KARL: Now suddenly we hear Donald Trump is unwilling to debate Bernie Sanders. What’s going on? Is he afraid of facing off with Bernie Sanders?

MANAFORT: He’s not afraid to face off with Bernie Sanders. He’s the Republican nominee now. The issue — the question should be, why is Hillary Clinton afraid to debate Hillary — Bernie Sanders? She’s the one in the Democratic primary with him. And the point that Mr. Trump was trying to make was the democratic system is rigged. It’s been rigged from the beginning, uh, for Hillary Clinton. Bernie Sanders, you know, has been winning primaries and losing delegates. Now you’ve got California, a state where Clinton thought she was going to when I. The race has gotten very close. And Bernie Sanders wants to debate Hillary Clinton. Bernie Sanders should have that chance.

Mr. Trump was saying, you know, debates are important, he — you know, he would have debated Bernie Sanders if Bernie Sanders were the nominee…

KARL: But — but…

MANAFORT: Hillary Clinton should be debating him today.

KARL: But this is a flip-flop. I mean you heard the tape. He — he said over and over again that he wanted to debate Bernie Sanders and then suddenly it was no.

MANAFORT: And he does. But he…

KARL: He…

MANAFORT: — but…

KARL: Nothing has changed.

MANAFORT: And he does, but he — well, what changed is he became the presumptive nominee — he became at actual nominee of the party between the time he said it and the time it happened.

But that’s not the point. The point is Hillary Clinton is the one who should be debating Senator Sanders. Hillary Clinton is the one who is in the Democratic primary. When the general election happens, when there’s a democratic nominee, Mr. Trump will debate whoever it is — emerges from the system.

Trump unofficially clinched the nomination this week when his total of delegates exceeded 1237 because some unbound delegates declared their support for Trump, which is not an official action that had any effect on Trump’s status.

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