“You supported the war in Iraq,” Holt told him.
“That is mainstream media nonsense,” Trump shot back. “I was against the war in Iraq.”
“The record shows otherwise,” Holt said, segueing to a question about Trump’s judgment.
The exchange answered one of the key questions leading into the debate: whether Holt would fact-check the candidates in real time. Holt stayed mostly above the fray for the first hour or so, and let the candidates spar particularly early on.
But the sharp question about the Iraq war toward the end prompted Trump to spend most of his answer defending his version of his own position. Trump urged skeptics to check with Fox host Sean Hannity, who he said would vouch for his position.
“Everybody refuses to call Sean Hannity,” Trump said. “Somebody call up Sean Hannity.”
Earlier in the debate, Holt was also critical of Trump on the issue of President Barack Obama’s birth certificate. Holt noted that Trump had only recently acknowledged that Obama was born in the U.S., and asked “What took you so long?”
Late in the debate, Trump sparred as much with Holt as he did with Clinton.