He responded to a series of tough questions from Pennsylvania voters, and some more from moderator George Stephanopoulos, much like he responds to easy questions from his favorite conservative television hosts -- with a barrage of dishonesty.
Trump made at least 22 false or misleading claims over the hour-and-a-half event, according to our preliminary count.
Here is a list.
Downplaying the virus
Trump was asked why he downplayed the coronavirus. He responded, "Well, I didn't downplay it. I actually -- in many ways I up-played it in terms of action."
Trump's praise of China
Pressed about how he had initially said China was doing a good job handling the virus, Trump suggested he had not issued such praise: "No, I didn't say one way or the other. I'm not saying one way or the other."
Trump said: "So I didn't say anything bad about President Xi initially, because nobody knew much about the disease. Nobody knew the seniors are susceptible."
Biden and the pandemic
Trump claimed opponent Joe Biden said in March that the pandemic was "totally over-exaggerated."
Facts First: We could not find any evidence of Biden saying anything like this in March.
Trump claimed that "a lot of people think that masks are not good." Asked who these people are, Trump said "waiters" -- citing the example of a person he said had been serving him but also touching their mask, which "can't be good."
Facts First: There is an overwhelming scientific consensus that masks help reduce transmission of the coronavirus. And there is no actual evidence that "waiters" generally disagree with this consensus; the example Trump cited did not involve even a single waiter expressing negative sentiments about masks.
Trump repeated his familiar claim that the "cupboards were bare" of ventilators when he took office.
Facts First: This is not at all true. Trump inherited more than 16,000 ventilators.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services confirmed to CNN in late June that there had been about 19,000 ventilators in the national stockpile for "many years," including 16,660 ventilators that were ready for immediate use in March 2020. The spokesperson confirmed that none of those 16,660 were purchased by the Trump administration.
As of June 23, the Trump administration had distributed 10,760 ventilators during the coronavirus pandemic, a smaller number than the administration inherited.
Testing and cases
Told that the US has 20% of the world's coronavirus cases and deaths, Trump said, "We have 20% of the cases because of the fact that we do much more testing. If we wouldn't do testing, you wouldn't have cases. You would have very few cases."
Travel restrictions on China and Europe
Trump claimed that he put "a ban on" China and "a ban on" Europe to address the pandemic.
Exemptions from the restrictions
Trump said of his critics' comments about the travel restrictions: "They say that we allowed certain people in, it's true -- but they were American citizens."
Facts First: Again, citizens were not the only people exempted. Also omitted from the prohibition were permanent residents; spouses of citizens and permanent residents; parents or guardians of unmarried citizens or permanent residents under age 21; unmarried siblings under age 21 of unmarried citizens or permanent residents under age 21; and various other categories of people.
Trump claimed that he would be "doing a health care plan" that would "protect people with pre-existing conditions." He then said of the Democrats, "They will not do that."
Trump insisted to Stephanopoulos that he would put forward a "new health care" plan that would protect people. But he has never unveiled any plan that would offer protections equivalent to the ones in Obamacare -- and, regardless, his claim about Democrats is absurd.
The existence of Obamacare
Trump claimed he "essentially ended Obamacare" by repealing the individual mandate that required people to obtain health insurance.
Facts First: The individual mandate, which required Americans to obtain health insurance, was indeed a key part of Obamacare -- but Trump didn't end Obamacare, essentially or otherwise; key parts of the law remain in effect. For example, Trump has not eliminated Obamacare's expansion of the Medicaid insurance program for low-income people, the federal and state marketplaces that allow people to shop for coverage, or the consumer subsidies that help many of them make the purchases.
Biden's health care plan
Trump suggested that Biden has agreed to adopt the "socialized" health care advocated by Sen. Bernie Sanders: "He (Biden) agreed to the manifesto, as I call it -- the agreement with Bernie is that you're going to go to socialized medicine."
Black communities and police
Trump said: "So I just saw a poll where African Americans in this country, Black communities, are 81% in favor of having more police."
Asked about how to achieve "common sense police reform," Trump said Republican Sen. Tim Scott had a compromise plan "that everybody pretty much agreed to" -- and that "a lot of Democrats agreed to it but they wouldn't vote for it."
The Senate voted 55-45 to begin debate on the bill, denying Scott the 60 votes needed. Just two Democrats and independent Maine Sen. Angus King, who caucuses with the Democrats, voted to begin debate.
Trump said of protesters in Seattle: "They took over a big chunk of the city -- 20% of the city."
The protest was cleared out by local authorities at the beginning of July.
Minnesota and the National Guard
Trump again took credit for the National Guard deployment in Minnesota to address violent protests following the killing of George Floyd, claiming that these protests "went on for a week or a week and a half" before the governor "allowed us to bring in the National Guard."
Facts First: Minnesota's Democratic governor, Tim Walz, was the one who activated the Guard -- and Walz, a Guard veteran, did so two days after the violent protests began, more than seven hours before Trump publicly threatened to deploy the Guard himself.
Crime in New York City
Trump said: "Look at New York. New York was a very safe city. Rudy Giuliani did a fantastic job. The city was safe and then, all of a sudden, we have a mayor -- who starts cutting the police force, and crime is up 100%, 150%. I saw one form of crime up 300%."
For example, New York City had 319 murders in 2019, less than half the 649 murders of 2001; while 2020 is on pace to be worse for murder than 2019, with 305 murders as of September 6, 2020 is still on pace to be much better than 2001.
When Stephanopoulos said that people at the top of the economic ladder, who own stocks, are doing well, Trump interjected and said, "George, stocks are owned by everybody."
The departure of James Mattis
Trump forced Mattis to leave the government two months earlier than the departure date Mattis had chosen upon his resignation, but that is still not a firing.
Mattis and ISIS
Repeating more of the same sentiments he expressed on Fox News on Tuesday, Trump said at the town hall that Mattis "didn't do good on ISIS" and that "I took over 100% of the ISIS caliphate."
Facts First: While the final remnants of the caliphate were eradicated in March 2019, more than two months after Mattis's departure, it's misleading for Trump to suggest this was his own accomplishment that Mattis had nothing to do with. Much of the progress in liberating the caliphate occurred during Mattis's tenure as secretary of defense between January 2017 and January 2019.
Churchill and Trump
Defending his decision to conceal the severity of the virus from the American public, Trump again invoked the late UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill -- saying Churchill was "not so honest" when he stood on London rooftops during Nazi bombings and told the public "everything's going to be good," but that he was still a "great leader" by keeping people calm.
Facts First: Churchill did not give speeches from the rooftops, though he sometimes did watch the bombing from rooftops, and did not say "everything's going to be good" or generally play down the Nazi threat. Rather -- as Churchill scholars have told CNN -- he was generally blunt about the threat of death and severe suffering, warning citizens repeatedly about hardships to come.