Town hall host: Trump staff probably viewed event as 'dress rehearsal' for Sunday debate

donald trump nh town hall not debate prep hurricane matthew bts_00002002
donald trump nh town hall not debate prep hurricane matthew bts_00002002

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Donald Trump: Town hall 'has nothing to do' with debate 01:35

Story highlights

  • The host, who is a Trump supporter, said the candidate's staff likely saw the event as debate prep
  • Trump claimed in the forum that it had "nothing to do with Sunday"
  • Chris Christie, Trump's debate coach, was present for the event

(CNN)Howie Carr, the conservative radio host who served as moderator for Donald Trump's town hall Thursday, said he believed the Republican candidate's staffers probably viewed the event as rehearsal for the town hall set for Sunday with Hillary Clinton in St. Louis.

"Maybe he didn't look at it as debate prep, but I think some of his staffers sort of thought that this was a good dress rehearsal for him," Carr told Don Lemon on "CNN Tonight. "
    Carr's comments seemed to contradict remarks made by Trump during the forum in which he denied there was any connection between the two events.
    "They were saying this is practice for Sunday," Trump said. "This isn't practice. This has nothing to do with Sunday."
    The forum, which was billed by the campaign as a town hall, featured a two-minute countdown clock, which Carr said Trump somewhat observed. Chris Christie, Trump's debate coach, also attended the event.
    "There was a countdown clock on the floor," Carr told Lemon. "He ... was actually paying more attention to the clock than I thought and he actually delivered some of the answers in less than two minutes."
    The questions at Thursday's forum were hand chosen by Carr, who is a Trump supporter. In Sunday's town hall in St. Louis, half the questions will come from uncommitted voters. ABC's Martha Raddatz and CNN's Anderson Cooper will moderate that event.