posted at 7:21 pm on September 30, 2016 by John Sexton
The Debate Commission issued a one sentence statement today acknowledging that there had in fact been a problem with Donald Trump’s microphone during Monday night’s presidential debate. From the Hill:
“Regarding the first debate, there were issues regarding Donald Trump’s audio that affected the sound level in the debate hall,” the statement read…Trump told reporters immediately following the debate that event organizers “gave me a defective mic” that he said affected the audio inside the Hofstra University venue.
“Did you notice that?” he asked a reporter immediately after the debate. “My mic was defective within the room.”
Here’s video of Trump telling reporters (I think that’s Fox News’ Jesse Watters asking the question) about his mic problem:
— Mosheh Oinounou (@Mosheh) September 27, 2016
Hillary Clinton seized on that comment when speaking to the media the next day saying, “Anyone who complains about the microphone is not having a good night.” You can hear the media gasp after she says it at the beginning of this clip:
Most of the media took Trump’s statement as an excuse but it turns out it was a fact. There was a problem with the mic in the room, exactly as Trump said.
I did notice while watching the debate that Trump reached for the mic and adjusted it several times. I didn’t understand why because it didn’t seem to do anything to his audio, which sounded fine on TV. But if his mic was cutting in and out in the room, he would have heard it and no doubt it would have been distracting.
I’m not going to engage in any conspiracy theories about why Trump’s mic went out but I do wonder why it took the Debate Commission until Friday afternoon to put out this brief statement admitting it happened. Clearly they knew this was a problem Monday. They also must have known it became an issue once the media began reporting Hillary’s dig about complaining about the microphone. That would have been the appropriate time for the organization responsible to come forward and admit there was in fact a problem. Better late than never?