President Donald Trump’s niece Mary Trump has advice for all those anticipating his final debate with Democratic nominee Joe Biden: Don’t expect the commander in chief to be “normal” in any sense of the word.
“People need to stop treating Donald like he’s normal, that he’s going to abide by the rules or care at all about behaving decently,” she told MSNBC anchor Ari Melber on Tuesday. “He doesn’t. We cannot treat him like a normal candidate on a debate stage.”
Trump’s niece ― who wrote a tell-all book about her uncle, “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man” ― speculated that the president was “desperate” in his bid to win reelection. She suggested that he went into debates and town hall events intending to argue and interrupt “because he knows that getting into a substantive policy discussion is disastrous for him.”
“His entire administration has been a failure from beginning to end,” Mary Trump said. “What could he possibly say about the policy that will be to his benefit? Nothing, as far as I can see. So he needs to interrupt. He needs to be rude. He needs to talk over other people. And he needs to change the subject, no matter how irrelevantly he does it.”
The final presidential debate between Trump and Biden will take place in Nashville, Tennessee, on Thursday, with a new twist arranged by the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates: Each candidate’s microphone will be muted while their rival delivers a two-minute opening answer on each debate topic.
The restriction was enacted after the chaotic first debate between Trump and Biden in Cleveland on Sept. 29 when the president frequently interrupted his opponent’s answers and butted heads with moderator Chris Wallace.
The Trump campaign has agreed to the new debate restrictions but, in a statement attributed to campaign manager Bill Stepien, also lambasted them as “last minute rule changes from the biased commission in their latest attempt to provide advantage to their favored candidate.”
The statement also suggests that Trump’s debate strategy may be to push recent efforts to smear Biden: “This was supposed to be the foreign policy debate, so the President still looks forward to forcing Biden to answer the number one relevant question of whether he’s been compromised by the Communist Party of China.”
Calling all HuffPost superfans!
Sign up for membership to become a founding member and help shape HuffPost’s next chapter