Moderator Injects Herself into Debate, Challenges Trump for Questioning Mosul Strategy

By Patrick Goodenough | October 10, 2016 | 2:29pm EDT
Debate moderators Martha Raddatz of ABC News and Anderson Cooper of CNN. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

( – When Donald Trump during Sunday night’s debate questioned the administration’s approach to retaking the ISIS stronghold of Mosul in Iraq, he got pushback not from rival Hillary Clinton but one of the debate moderators.

Criticizing what he called “the stupidity of our foreign policy,” Trump charged that by publicly signaling its intention to retake the city in the coming weeks, the administration was giving ISIS leaders there the opportunity to flee ahead of the offensive.

“Why can’t they do it quietly? Why can’t they do the attack, make it a sneak attack and after the attack is made, inform the American public that we’ve knocked out the leaders, we’ve had a tremendous success?”

“Why do they have to say we’re going to be attacking Mosul within the next four to six weeks, which is what they’re saying?” Trump added. “How stupid is our country?”

“There are sometimes reasons the military does that,” moderator and ABC News host Martha Raddatz interjected.

I can’t think of any,” said Trump.

“Psychological warfare,” Raddatz continued, as Clinton watched and smiled. “It might be to help get civilians out.”

“Look,” said Trump. “I have 200 generals and admiral who's endorse me. I have 21 congressional medal of honor recipients who endorse me. We talk about it all the time. They understand. Why can’t they do something secretively where they go in and they knock out the leadership?”

On several occasions during the debate Trump suggested that moderators Raddatz and CNN’s Anderson Cooper were not being impartial.

He charged that they allowed Clinton to run over the two-minutes-per-question time limit, yet pulled him up when he did so.

“She just went about 25 seconds over her time,” Trump noted at one point.

“It’s funny, she went over a minute over and you don’t stop her,” he said at another. “When I go one second over – it’s very interesting.”

“Why don’t you interrupt her?” Trump asked Raddatz after she instructed him to “answer the question” about his call late last year for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country.

At one point, when Trump was trying to push Clinton on the issue of having deleted 33,000 emails from her private server, Cooper attempted to move the debate on.

“We have a question here from Ken Karpowicz, it’s a question about health care,” said Cooper.

“I’d like to know Anderson, why aren’t you bringing up the emails? I’d like to know,” said Trump. “Why aren’t you –

“We’ve brought up the emails,” Cooper replied.

“No it hasn’t,” said Trump. “And it hasn't been finished, at all.”

“Ken Karpowicz has a question,” repeated Cooper.

“It’s nice to – one-on-three,” Trump said, implying that Clinton and the two moderators were ganging up against him.

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