The Commission on Presidential Debates admitted Friday there were indeed issues with Donald Trump’s audio at Monday’s debate – four days after the Republican nominee complained about sound issues inside the venue and was mocked for it by Hillary Clinton.
“Regarding the first debate, there were issues regarding Donald Trump’s audio that affected the sound level in the debate hall,” the CPD said in a short statement Friday afternoon.
While Trump already has taken a drubbing from political analysts for aspects of his performance Monday, the unusual — and belated — statement from the commission boosts his claim that he was having microphone problems.
“I was a little bit upset that the microphone in the room wasn’t working,” Trump told reporters Monday night.
The next day, he continued to bring up the sound issues.
“My microphone in the room, they couldn’t hear me,” Trump said on Fox and Friends. “I wonder if it was set up that way,” he added. “It was terrible.”
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Trump said there had been no issue with the microphone before the debate, and suggested a more sinister motive at play.
“I don’t want to believe in conspiracy theories of course, but it was much lower than hers and it was crackling,” he said.
Clinton mocked the complaints at the time.
“Anybody who complains about the microphone is not having a good night,” she told reporters Tuesday.
Some in the Trump campaign also have suggested the audio problems are why Trump’s microphone picked up on his breathing so acutely. During the early part of the debate, he was mocked on social media for what sounded like sniffling. Former Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean even questioned whether it was a sign he’s a “coke user” (for which Dean was also ridiculed).
However, the CPD’s short statement only referred to issues inside the hall, and not how it came across on television.
Clinton campaign Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri tweeted in response to the CPD announcement that the mic wasn’t Trump’s problem.
@realDonaldTrump‘s problem isn’t that he couldn’t be heard on Monday night. His problem is we all heard him quite clearly.
— Jennifer Palmieri (@jmpalmieri) September 30, 2016