The first presidential debate is scheduled to take place in four weeks. Moderators should be preparing themselves to ask President Trump the questions that go to the heart of his ability to do his job — even if he gets upset, and even though no president has had to answer similar questions before. Here are a few:

  • There is no scientific evidence windmills cause cancer. Why did you say they do?
  • You said forces in the “dark shadows” control your opponent and that a pack of figures in dark clothing with gear were reported on a plane. Is there any factual support for this? What flight were you talking about, and how would anyone know that those people on the plane are out to manipulate the former vice president?
  • You keep saying President Barack Obama spied on you and your 2016 campaign. The bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee said that this is false. No Justice Department investigation has found this. No evidence has been made publicly available. On what basis do you say your predecessor acted illegally?
  • You said under oath in written answers that you couldn’t remember whether you spoke to others on your 2016 campaign about WikiLeaks’s release of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC). In fact, Roger Stone spoke to you about the email dump on July 25, 2016, according to the testimony of former campaign adviser Rick Gates. Did you forget this conversation?
  • There is zero evidence that Ukraine interfered with the 2016 election or that the DNC server is there. That claim is Russian propaganda. Why did you repeat these assertions over and over again?
  • When have you ever publicly criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin? Is he a dictator? Does Russia kill journalists and Putin’s opponents?
  • Why did you want to let Russia back into the Group of Seven; repeat Russian propaganda that the Soviet Union was engaged in a defensive war in Afghanistan in the 1980s; refuse to confront Putin on the evidence of Russian bounties on U.S. soldiers (even after it became public knowledge); and insist you were not briefed on the Russian bounties even though it appeared in your written briefing in late February?
  • The United States has lost more than 181,000 people to covid-19, more than any country in the world and more than many Western countries on a per-capita basis. No other country has been at least partially shut down or hobbled for six months, or has failed to institute a national testing-and-tracing plan. Was your handling of the virus a “success”?
  • When you said the United States had 15 positive cases of the novel coronavirus and then claimed the disease would disappear, you were wrong. Why did you assure Americans the number of cases would soon be “zero”?
  • Why do you want to keep the names men who betrayed the United States by taking up arms against the Union during the Civil War on military bases? Do you believe the South fought the Civil War to preserve slavery? Do you disagree that the Confederate flag is meant to lionize those men?
  • President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act and the 1968 Fair Housing Act. Other presidents have appointed Black judges to the Supreme Court or at least to federal appellate courts, which you have not. Other presidents have had multiple African Americans in their Cabinet; you have one. How can you say you did more for Blacks than any other president since Abraham Lincoln?
  • Why have you not condemned the police shooting of Jacob Blake? Why did you offer a defense of the White man who allegedly killed two people in Kenosha, Wis.?
  • You said you do not want higher levels of voting. Isn’t that the opposite of democracy?
  • Before the pandemic hit, the economy under your presidency created fewer jobs on average per month than during the last three years of the Obama administration. All three of his final years in office beat your best year of growth. Why do you say you inherited a bad economy?
  • You said the economy would grow by 4 percent or more under the 2017 tax cuts and that they would result in no new debt. Neither happened. Why were you so far off in your prediction?
  • Who pays for tariffs? What is the “trade deficit”?
  • You said you would protect people with preexisting conditions, but you are in court seeking to repeal all of Obamacare, including that protection. Can you explain the contradiction?
  • Why did you unexpectedly go to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center last November? Why were you administered a basic test for dementia and similar conditions? How many times have you taken such a test? Was Vice President Pence put on alert when you went to Walter Reed? Has any doctor examined you for impaired mental ability or for physical conditions from such impairment?

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