While participating in a town hall event in New Hampshire on Thursday, Donald Trump balked at suggestions that he was using the event as preparation for the next presidential debate.
The Republican nominee is set to meet Hillary Clinton, his Democratic rival, on Sunday for the second of three match-ups — a town hall style event.
“This has nothing to do with Sunday,” Trump said, after taking a number of questions submitted by the audience. A countdown clock was reportedly present at the event, according to CNN. The affair was moderated by conservative talk-radio host and Trump supporter, Howie Carr.
“Do you really think Hillary Clinton is debate-prepping for three or four days?” Trump asked. “Hillary Clinton is resting, OK? She’s resting. She wants to build up her energy for Sunday night — and you know what, that’s fine.” Scattered laughter could be heard from the crowd.
Trump and Clinton will meet at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, on Sunday under similar circumstances. According to the Commission on Presidential Debates, the format will feature questions submitted by an audience of registered voters.
Other questions will come from moderators Martha Raddatz of ABC News and Anderson Cooper of CNN. The candidates will have two minutes to respond to the questions and another minute for further discussion.
A number of official polls deemed Clinton the winner of the opening debate, during which Trump suggested Clinton “decided to stay home” days prior while he campaigned in multiple cities.
The Democratic nominee responded simply: “I think Donald just criticized me for preparing for this debate. And, yes, I did … You know what else I prepared for? I prepared to be president.”