Donald Trump broke debate rules set by Fox News by conversing with his campaign manager during a commercial break. Trump apparently met with his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, during the first commercial break, according to CNN Money.
Trump violated the network’s rule about candidates speaking with their staff members in the middle of the debate. Seeing the violation, Fox News allowed other Republican opponents to meet with one of their staff members during subsequent breaks.
Some people noticed that other candidates left their podiums to head off stage during the commercial breaks Thursday night. This happened after rival campaigns complained about the GOP frontrunner’s consultation, then Lewandowski refused to leave when Fox News staff confronted him.
Trump broke debate rules set by Fox News during the conversation. The ground rules were set before the live telecast by the network.
But as the debates have gotten more and more heated, a lot of the rules have fallen by the wayside. Rules about talking out of turn, speaking over a candidate trying to answer a question and going extensively past the allotted time have been broken repeatedly.
An unnamed Fox News source said debate staff asked Lewandowski to leave the stage but he refused. Network representatives then told the campaigns for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Ohio Gov. John Kasich that they could consult with their candidates because Trump had broken the rules.
The offer was immediately accepted by Cruz and Kasich staffers, who were on hand to consult with their candidates for all the remaining breaks. A senior adviser to Rubio went backstage later, and was on deck for the last half of the debate, Byers reported. Fox News is the only network that has rectified a rule violation by inviting the other campaigns backstage.
But the unnamed campaign sources said they spent little time consulting their candidates, aside from Rubio aide Todd Harris, who spoke with the senator during the last commercial break.
While it wasn’t immediately clear what Lewandowski spoke about when Trump broke the debate rules, the billionaire did produce a report from the Better Business Bureau, which showed the rating for Trump University upgraded to an “A” grade, to hand over to the Fox News moderators during a commercial break.