‘Do You Realize How Absurd That Sounds?’: Byron Donalds Spars With Chuck Todd Over Trump’s Debt Ceiling Comments

(Screenshot, Rumble, NBC)

James Lynch Investigative Reporter
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Republican Florida Rep. Byron Donalds went back and forth with NBC’s Chuck Todd over former President Donald Trump’s comments about the ongoing debt ceiling negotiations between President Biden and Congressional Republicans.

Donalds appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday for an interview with Todd. The veteran journalist began with a series of questions about the debt ceiling negotiations, including one about what Donald Trump said about the debt ceiling in 2019.

“I want to get you to respond to something former President Trump said about the debt ceiling in 2019. Take a listen,” Todd said. The broadcast proceeded to play a clip of Trump saying “I can’t imagine anybody ever even thinking of using the debt ceiling as a negotiating wedge.”

“Why don’t you agree with him on this?” Todd asked Donalds. (RELATED: ‘Most Voters Are Frankly Kinda Tired Of Y’all’: Rep. Byron Donalds Spars With CNN Panel Over Town Hall With Trump)

“Well first of all, he also said the other day on a rival network, uh, that he said that when he was president and when asked why he wasn’t saying it now, he said it’s because he’s not president. Listen, Donald Trump is always negotiating,” Donalds responded, until Todd interrupted him.

Trump told CNN host and former Daily Caller reporter Kaitlan Collins the U.S. should default if the Biden administration does not agree to House Republicans’ spending cuts. “I say to the Republicans out there — congressmen, senators — if they don’t give you massive cuts, you’re going to have to do a default,” Trump said.

The Treasure Department estimates the U.S. could default on its debt obligations by June 1, as debt ceiling negotiations between the White House and Congressional Republicans move forward.

“Do you realize how absurd that sounds?” Todd interjected, cutting off Donalds.

“That is not absurd. He’s always negotiating, Chuck. Chuck, he’s always negotiating, that’s what he does, that’s actually one of the reasons why so many deals for our country worked out to our benefit as compared to his predecessors, both Republican and Democrat, because he’s always negotiating,” Donalds replied.

“Do you realize how partisan that sounds? ‘What is good for me is not for thee.’ He’s basically saying, ‘When I’m president, uh, there’s no negotiating on this. But, hey, when somebody else is president, screw ’em,'” Todd said.

“Well, no. Here’s the thing, let’s be realistic now: when Donald Trump was negotiating debt ceiling, with Nancy Pelosi mind you, they negotiated that,” Donalds said.

“No they didn’t, they raised it without any restrictions,” Chuck said, interrupting Donalds.

“When they were doing that, our economy was thriving, our debt levels were not where they are right now, we were about 24 trillion dollars, not 32 trillion, uh, we weren’t having massive deficits the way we are right now,” Donalds continued.

He said House Republicans’ proposal to return to pre-pandemic spending levels is “common sense stuff” before the two began debating tax policy.