The forums were held instead of the second presidential debate which was cancelled after the Biden campaign refused to postpone the contest over the president's catching COVID and Trump refused to take part in a virtual debate.
Trump and Biden appeared at opposite town halls on Thursday in lieu of a debate after the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates made a decision to move to a virtual format for the second debate due to Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis. The joint letter, published by Variety, claimed that NBC was "enabling the president's bad behavior while undercutting the Presidential Debate Commission and doing a disservice to the American public".
There were apparently still hard feelings, given that Muir twice mentioned a nameless "another network" holding a Trump town hall. It wasn't until a few days later, after Trump was roundly criticized for his comments, that the president backpedaled and said he condemned "all white supremacists".
"And then they talk 'Will you accept a peaceful transfer, '" Trump said.
Guthrie asked Trump about his retweeting that Biden ordered the killing of a Navy Seal team to cover up Osama bin Laden's capture and death being faked. "That was a retweet, that was an opinion of somebody ..." It's out there, let the people decide.
Trump and Biden battled on September 29 in Cleveland in a debate defined both by the president's constant hectoring of his opponent, which sent his support lower, and by its place on the calendar: just two days before Trump announced he had tested positive for coronavirus.
At one point, Guthrie even publicly insulted Trump, saying "you're not like someone's insane uncle who can just retweet whatever". "I owe a very, very small, it's called mortgages".
He replied: "I know nothing about QAnon". "She tried, God bless her.she tried". The Biden session on ABC with George Stephanopoulos of "Good Morning America" was a more sedate affair.
Likewise, the ex-vice president was allowed to once again dodge the Supreme Court-packing question, remarks Rory McShane, a Republican political consultant and strategist, referring to the reported Democratic plan to appoint more liberals to the conservative dominated Supreme Court to recover the left-leaning majority.
Biden, appearing almost 1,200 miles away, denounced the White House's handling of the virus, declaring that it was at fault for closing a pandemic response office established by the Obama administration in which he served.
NBC News chief executive Cesar Conde said Thursday that NBC scheduled Trump out of fairness after Biden did a town hall at the same time last Thursday.
Has Town Hall Changed the Balance of Power?
Even though Guthrie asked Trump multiple questions at the beginning of the event about his health and his administration's handling of the pandemic for 20 minutes uninterrupted, Guthrie still hijacked the rest of the town hall by inserting herself while Trump was still answering voters' questions.
"Joe Biden's campaign should pray that no one saw either of these town halls", argues Chris Barron, conservative strategist and president of Right Turn Strategies.
Trump was Trump. He was loud and argumentative, fighting with the host, Savannah Guthrie, complaining about the questioning - and eventually saying for the first time that he would honor the results of a fair election, but only after casting an extraordinary amount doubt on the likeliness of fairness.
While Trump came off as "the happy warrior", Biden came off as "the confused great uncle", according to Barron.'But I think, I hope, that it doesn't say that we are racially, ethnically and religiously at odds with one another as it appears the president wants us to be'.