Trump won’t say to whom he may owe money

Politics

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at Des Moines International Airport, Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump is traveling to North Carolina and Florida on Thursday and will participate in an NBC town hall from Miami at 8 p.m. His Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, is participating in an ABC town hall from Philadelphia at the same time.

9 p.m.

President Donald Trump is acknowledging he may owe $400 million as part of his business dealings, but he’s not saying to whom he owes money.

Trump on Thursday night was pressed on a New York Times report citing tax returns showing he has business debts exceeding $400 million.

He insisted that he didn’t owe any money to Russia or any “sinister people.”

He described his debts as a “very very small percentage.” He said: “$400 million is a peanut.”

The president suggested repeatedly Thursday night that he would be willing to release details about his debts, but it’s unclear when that might happen. He again repeated his refusal to release his tax returns more than four years after he first promised he would.

8:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump is insisting he’s going to implement an improved and more affordable health care system, but he’s refusing to give any details.

Trump attacked the Affordable Care Act over and over again when asked about his own plans to lower health care costs Thursday night at a town hall. He claimed, incorrectly, that he’s already lowered health care costs. And while he’s been making similar promises for more than four years, he has yet to outline a specific plan.

In the town hall, he said only that he would implement “much better health care under a much better price.”

Trump also repeated his pledge to protect people with preexisting conditions, even though his administration is trying to overturn the Affordable Care Act — and its protection for people with preexisting conditions — at the Supreme Court.

8:40 p.m.

Democrat Joe Biden is hedging on whether he would mandate that all Americans be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Biden said Thursday during a town-hall-style event in Philadelphia that it would depend on the reliability of the vaccine.

He says that it would “have to have a very positive impact and how you can affect positively 85% of the American public,” and that he would likely receive the vaccine if it met that criteria.

Biden says we “should be talking about” mandating the vaccine, knowing that it’s difficult to enforce. But likewise, he says, it’s difficult to enforce a mask mandate, though scientists suggest they slow the spread.

“You can go to every governor and get them in a room,” he says. “The words of a president matter, no matter whether they’re good, bad or indifferent, they matter.”

8:20 p.m.

Joe Biden is opening an ABC News town hall by criticizing President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

He said Thursday that it’s “a president’s responsibility to lead” and that Trump “didn’t do that.” Biden said Trump focused too exclusively on the stock market while downplaying how the virus spread and threatened both Americans’ health and the economy on the ground.

Biden also criticized Trump for not more actively engaging with Congress to pass another economic relief package for individuals and businesses.

The former vice president acknowledged that he didn’t call for widespread mask use and social distancing until the spring. But he said that was when “the science” had become clearer on how the virus spreads.

Biden repeated that he’d listen to government scientists and public health experts but said that doesn’t mean the economy has to shut down.

8:05 p.m.

President Donald Trump was evasive when asked whether he took a coronavirus test on the day of the first debate, like he was supposed to.

Trump’s comments came in the opening moments of Thursday night’s town hall-style meeting on NBC. His Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, was appearing at a similar event at the same time on another network.

Trump was seated on stage, not wearing a mask, on a set with several voters spaced several feet apart, all of them wearing masks.

Pressed many times, he finally said he “probably” took a test the day of the opening debate last week, but he doesn’t remember. The Commission on Presidential Debates asked the two candidates to take tests before they arrived, but it was on the honor system.

He tested positive for the coronavirus two days after the first debate.

Trump also says he has “nothing, whatsoever” remaining of symptoms from his coronavirus infection. But he acknowledged that doctors determined that his lungs were “a little bit infected” when he was hospitalized.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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