Lester Holt is fact-checking Donald Trump, and it's more uncomfortable than we imagined


During the much-anticipated debate on Monday night between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump, debate moderator and NBC anchor Lester Holt made good on his promise to fact-check Trump in real time — and it went just about as well as anyone could have guessed.

During an exchange about facing ISIS and global terrorism, Holt reminded Trump, "You supported the war in Iraq." 

"That is a mainstream media nonsense put out by her, because she, frankly — I think the best person in her campaign is mainstream media," Trump responded.

Trump continued on, despite several attempts from Holt to interject with some fact-checking. "Would you like to hear?" he said. "I was against the war, wait a minute. I was against the war in Iraq."

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Holt pointed out that "the record shows otherwise" — to which Trump responded, "It does not show that. The record shows that I'm right."

Holt was referring to a 2002 interview with Howard Stern — which BuzzFeed reported on earlier this year — in which Trump was asked, "Are you for invading Iraq?" Trump reportedly responded, "Yeah, I guess so."

According NBC News, Trump "did progressively change his decision publicly within the next year," but that doesn't change the fact that he went on record with support for the war in Iraq. Holt tried to clarify this, saying, "My reference is to what you said in 2002." Trump, however, continued to insist that he was right about the facts, launching into a tangent that led to an attack on Clinton's personality. 

"I have a winning temperament," Trump said. "I know how to win. She does not."

So did Holt successfully fact-check Trump on his support of the Iraq War? Well, he sure tried — but, as many perhaps could have predicted, Trump wasn't too receptive to the facts.