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Fox News anchor Chris Wallace slammed President Donald Trump’s family members and Chief of Staff Mark Meadows for breaking safety rules and not wearing masks while in the audience of the presidential debate he moderated on Tuesday.

“Everybody was told to wear a mask. Why did the first family and chief of staff feel that the rules for everybody else didn’t apply to them?” Wallace asked senior Trump campaign adviser Steve Cortes on Fox News Sunday. Wallace highlighted that Cleveland Clinic staff had offered the first family masks but “they were waved away.”

Cortes pushed back, stressing that “everybody was tested before that event” and pointed to the belief “in some element of individual choice.”

Wallace doubled down on his question, adding that “there was no freedom of choice. They broke the rules,” Wallace said, since only he, the President and Vice President were exempt from the requirement.

Earlier in the interview, Wallace also pressed Cortes on the lack of masks at the Rose Garden event last weekend, in which Trump formally announced he would be nominating Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. “People packed together, the vast majority not wearing masks, how does that make sense?” Wallace asked, pointing out that several people who attended have now tested positive for the coronavirus, including President Trump and the First Lady.

Cortes went on to accuse Wallace of targeting him, saying, “Chris, the way you’re starting to harangue me now actually reminds me of what you did with the President during that debate on Tuesday night.”

Wallace quickly interjected, reminding Cortes that it was the President who interrupted both him and Vice President Biden “145 times.” “I object to saying I harangued the President. I know it’s the talking point,” Wallace said.

Cortes went on, “He had to debate not just Joe Biden but you as well. You were not a neutral moderator.”

The Trump Administration has so far been relatively evasive about providing clear answers about the President’s medical condition. The White House physician’s press briefing on Saturday added to the confusion as they maintained that Trump had mild symptoms and was improving, while Meadows told the Associated Press that Trump had undergone a “very concerning” period on Friday and was anticipating a “critical” 48 hours ahead.

Watch the full Fox News Sunday exchange below:

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Write to Sanya Mansoor at

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