Daughter-in-law Lara Trump pushed back against “Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace’s previous claims that she and her family were told to put on masks at the Cleveland debate between President Trump and Joe Biden.
During a segment in which Chris Wallace appeared fixated on the presidential mask-wearing, Lara Trump refuted suggestions that Cleveland Clinic staff implored the Trump family masks but that family members waved them off.
To lead the segment, Wallace first noted that hundreds of people who attended a White House event on Saturday featuring pro-law enforcement and Blexit supporters in which President Trump made his first public appearance since being diagnosed with COVID-19 were not social distancing but most were wearing masks, even as the president — speaking on the balcony — took his off.
Nevertheless, Wallace added, “that was a lot better” than two weeks ago when dozens of people gathered in close proximity, most unmasked, at a Rose Garden ceremony where President Trump announced he was nominating Judge Amy Coney Barrett to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
“Dr. [Anthony] Fauci has said that event was a super-spreader,” Wallace said, asking: “Why did it take the president getting COVID for the White House to take the CDC safety guidelines more seriously” despite some supporters being in violation of them on Saturday.
Lara Trump pointed out that attendees to Judge Barrett’s nomination were tested before being seated. She went on to note a dearth of media “concern” and coverage of protests and riots, where densely packed people are not always masked, of being “super-spreader events.”
“You never hear any concern after these things about those being ‘super-spreader events,” she said. “I have yet to hear one doctor say anything about them, I’ve yet to hear one media outlet say anything about those.
“It just doesn’t seem like coronavirus would have a political agenda, but oftentimes it feels like it does because those events are never talked about as being issues,” she continued, noting that the White House does follow CDC guidelines on COVID-19.
“It doesn’t seem right that we’re criticizing one event and not another,” she added.
Wallace said he understands her point, “but that doesn’t make what happened at the White House — which, as I say, Tony Fauci says was a super-spreader, at least eight people at that event later came down with the virus, including the president.”
Wallace then pivoted to the debate, which he moderated, saying the clinic’s “rules were very clear that everyone in the audience had to wear a mask,” adding that after the first family came into the venue, “you all took them off.”
Wallace then asked Lara Trump if the first family did not think the rules applied to them.
“Of course, we didn’t think that,” she responded, adding that everyone who came into the venue that evening tested negative for the virus, noting further the first family came into the event wearing masks.
She then moved to deny claims made by Wallace and others they rejected a plea to don masks by Cleveland Clinic staff.
“I’ve heard you actually say this many times, I want to be very clear, never one time did anyone from Cleveland Clinic come up and ask any member of our family to put a mask on,” she said. “That is totally false.”
Lara Trump went on to explain that the venue seating was socially distanced and that the first family wanted to be “respectful” of others who were there, while still following the COVID-19 rules for the debate.
“I don’t want to belabor the point,” Wallace countered, “the fact is, the rules were, everybody except the president, vice president, and I were supposed to wear masks.”
Wallace continued to argue that a media pool report claimed, and video substantiates, that a clinic staffer came up “to someone in the presidential party and said, ‘Would you like masks?’ And they were waved away.”
Lara Trump said no member of her family was asked.
“What I understood afterward was that [MMA fighter] Colby Covington had a MAGA mask on and they didn’t appreciate that, apparently, so I think they were coming up to offer him maybe a different mask,” she said, adding, “Never once…was anyone in our family asked once to put a mask on.”