Burgum defends Trump lies during debate: ‘Not news’

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R), rumored to be on former President Trump’s vice-presidential shortlist, defended the presumptive GOP nominee against criticism over the numerous falsehoods he told on the debate stage Thursday.

In an interview Sunday on NBC News’s “Meet the Press,” Burgum called the story “manufactured,” noting Trump has said publicly in the past everything he said Thursday.

“I think that the whole manufactured thing this morning of that Donald Trump has said something that he hasn’t said before — I mean, everything that he said on Thursday night, he’s been saying before. I mean, so this is not news,” Burgum said.

Burgum was responding to a question on whether Trump should stop repeating false information, as he did on the debate stage Thursday. Burgum was also asked about a previous interview in which he said he never lies.

NBC News’s Kristen Welker pressed Burgum on the issue further, mentioning some false statements Trump made during the debate.

“Just to say a few, he said the Democrats want to kill infants after birth. That’s not true. He again lied about widespread fraud, not true. He lied about his comments after Charlottesville,” she said.

“Should he be truthful with the American people if he wants to lead this country, especially given what you just said, that you never lie? That’s your standard, governor,” Welker pressed before Burgum pivoted to criticizing Democrats’ positioning on abortion.

CNN, which hosted the debate Thursday, made clear at the outset that moderators would not be responsible for live fact-checking of the candidates’ statements. Still, the more than 30 false claims Trump made during the debate prompted criticism among pundits and the public.

CNN reported that most false claims had, in fact, been included in prior campaign speeches or other public forums, but some were new, “such as his assertions that the U.S. currently has its biggest budget deficit and its biggest trade deficit with China. Both records actually occurred under Trump,” CNN reported.

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