Trump niece on debates: Stop expecting him to 'abide by the rules'

President TrumpDonald TrumpMyPillow CEO to pull ads from Fox News Haaland, Native American leaders press for Indigenous land protections Simone Biles, Vince Lombardi and the courage to walk away MORE’s niece Mary Trump said Tuesday that people should stop expecting her uncle to “abide by the rules” at the presidential debates.

Mary Trump told MSNBC anchor Ari Melber that moderators and the public need to stop considering Trump “a normal candidate.” 

“People need to stop treating Donald like he’s normal, that he's going to abide by the rules or care at all about behaving decently,” she said. “He doesn’t. We cannot treat him like a normal candidate on a debate stage.”


The president’s niece called her uncle’s debate behavior “exhausting,” adding that he is interrupting because “he’s desperate.” 

“He goes into a debate or a town hall specifically with his tactic in his pocket because he knows that getting into a substantive policy discussion is disastrous for him,” Mary Trump said. “His entire administration has been a failure from beginning to end. What could he possibly say about policy that will be to his benefit? Nothing, as far as I can see.”

“So he needs to interrupt. He needs to be rude. He needs to talk over other people,” she added. “And he needs to change the subject ... no matter how irrelevantly he does it.”

Mary Trump’s comments come two days ahead of the last scheduled presidential debate, set to take place in Nashville, Tenn., on Thursday.

President Trump and Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenFirst lady leaves Walter Reed after foot procedure Biden backs effort to include immigration in budget package MyPillow CEO to pull ads from Fox News MORE will face off for the second time after a highly combative, chaotic debate in Cleveland last month. 

Much of the Cleveland debate was characterized by multiple interruptions and personal insults that both Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden lobbed at each other throughout the night. 


Another debate had been scheduled for last week, but when the Commission on Presidential Debates moved it to a virtual format after President Trump’s positive COVID-19 test, the president refused to participate. Instead, the candidates held dueling town halls at the same time on different networks.

The commission announced on Tuesday that the candidates’ microphones will be muted during their opponent’s two-minute opening answers to topics.

The Trump campaign has blasted the decision but said the president will still participate "regardless of last minute rule changes from the biased commission in their latest attempt to provide advantage to their favored candidate.”

Last month, Mary Trump sued the president, his sister and late brother over allegations that they committed fraud to deprive her of interests in the family business.

She also published a book this year titled “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man."