Matt Lauer’s Commander-In-Chief Forum Was A Complete Disappointment

The “Today” show host spent too much time on Clinton’s emails and neglected to fact-check Trump’s blatant lies about Iraq and Libya.

Matt Lauer and Hillary Clinton

Moderating a presidential debate is not a child’s play — particularly when it involves asking serious questions to candidates like Donald Trump, who love to tout their nonexistent expertise on every topic and flip-flop on major issues at the speed of light.

NBC’s “Commander-in-Chief Forum” on Wednesday night was the first time Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton shared a stage with her Republican rival, Trump. For any journalist, hosting this event would have been an excellent chance to prove their broadcasting mettle.

However, Matt Lauer, the man tasked with moderating it, totally blew the whole thing up with his shortcomings. Critics and other journalists slammed the “Today” show host almost instantly for failing to fact-check the candidates and for posing superficial questions to both Clinton and Trump.

During the first half of the event, Lauer was criticized for opening the show by grilling the former secretary of state about her ongoing email scandal  despite the Commander-in-Chief Forum being geared toward veterans’ issues.

He questioned her over security matters and covert topics, such as the drone program, before going on to other topics such as ISIS. He then attempted to hurry Clinton along, insisting there was not enough time although he had spent most of those 30 minutes interrupting the candidate.








After being criticized for his aggressive questioning of Clinton, Lauer drew more ire by repeatedly asking Trump open-ended questions that the candidate easily ignored or downright evaded.

Read More: NBC Forum: Donald Trump Wrongly Corrects Veteran On Suicide Stats

Donald Trump at NBC

Moreover, the moderator also failed to fact-check the billionaire business mogul on his claim about not supporting the Iraq invasion in 2002. When Trump wrongfully blurted, “I was totally against the war in Iraq” in a room full of Iraq War veterans, Lauer did not correct him.

“The main thing is, I have great judgment,” Trump said. “I heard Hillary Clinton say I was not against the war in Iraq. I was totally against the war in Iraq. You can look at Esquire magazine from 2004. You can look at before that. And I was against the war in Iraq, I said it's going to totally destabilize the Middle East, which it has. It's been a disastrous war. And perhaps almost as bad was the way Barack Obama got out. That was a disaster.”

The thing is, Trump really was not against the war in Iraq. The United States invaded Iraq in 2003 and the debate over authorizing the use of military force was in 2002. During that time, Trump supported the invasion of Iraq.

Earlier this year, BuzzFeed unearthed a Howard Stern show transcript to prove this.








Lauer also concluded his interview with Trump with a softball question.

“You said in a speech today, ‘History shows that when America is not prepared, is when danger is the greatest,'” Lauer said before asking, “Will you be prepared on day one if you’re elected president of the United States to tackle these complex national security issues?”

“One hundred percent,” Trump insisted.

Read More: Trump Calls Clinton 'Trigger Happy' While Promoting Defense Spending

To sum it all up: