Donald Trump isn’t just breaking the social mores of the 2016 presidential election, he’s actually breaking the rules, too.
During the first commercial break of the Fox News Republican debate at the Fox Theater, in Detroit, Michigan, Thursday, Donald Trump consulted with his campaign, which is supposedly strictly forbidden by the network during a debate, according to the campaigns of Trump’s rivals.
Though Thursday night’s breach of the rules was the most blatant, numerous sources claim Trump has been breaking such rules all along. According to CNN, sources say Trump has repetitively met with campaign manager Corey Lewandowski “backstage” at any number of debates, despite the clear rule that debating candidates are not to consult their campaign staff during the debate.
What made Thursday night’s breach of the rules the most blatant so far, however, is that Lewandowski actually came out onto the stage during the commercial break to talk with Trump.
Fox News maintains it has been quite clear that candidates are not to communicate with campaign staff during debates, but Trump doesn’t care. He’s above the rules, right? And neither Lewandowski nor Trump’s campaign spokesperson, Hope Hicks, have been willing to comment on the matter.
What’s perhaps most comical over the matter of Donald Trump breaking the rules is how Fox News handled the matter. Instead of disqualifying Trump from the remainder of the debate and informing the public that he’d broken the rules, Fox News instead just let the other candidates go ahead and break the rules, too, “to be fair.” Naturally, they all did, too.
Ted Cruz and John Kasich made a fast bee line for backstage to consult with their own campaigns during a commercial break. Rubio consulted with his own campaign a little later.
It didn’t stop with a single consultation during one commercial break, either. Both Cruz and Kasich met with their aides during every remaining commercial break that night, while Rubio’s aide was waiting in the wings for the entire second half of the debate.
The same sources who brought this dishonesty to the light, however, also say the candidates’ aides didn’t spend a lot of time coaching their candidates, with the exception of Rubio, whose aide, Todd Harris, had a bit more interaction with Rubio during the final commercial break for the night.
While it is not clear what Trump and Lewandowski talked about while blatantly breaking the debate rules, Trump was able to later hand the Fox News debate moderators a Better Business Bureau fax indicating that Trump University’s rating had been bumped up to an “A,” clearly trying to move past the fact that the university had received a “D-” rating only six years ago.
Now the American people can honestly say Donald Trump is a racist, lying, egotistical cheater, and those of us still sane enough to do so can’t wait until we can add calling him a loser to that list, as well.