GOP tells NBC debate in February suspended over ‘gotcha’ questions
NEW YORK — Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus sent a letter to NBC News Friday, saying they are “suspending the partnership” with the network for a February debate.
The letter came in the wake of intense criticism of how the CNBC debate was handled earlier this week.
Priebus wrote that the partnership was suspended “pending further discussion between the RNC and our presidential campaigns.”
He made the letter public on Twitter.
NBC is scheduled to hold a GOP debate February 26 in Houston. National Review was going to a partner of NBC’s.
“We still fully intend to have a debate on that day, and will ensure that National Review remains part of it,” Priebus wrote.
“This is a disappointing development,” NBC News said in a statement. “However, along with our debate broadcast partners at Telemundo we will work in good faith to resolve this matter with the Republican Party.”
CNBC and NBC News are divisions of NBCUniversal, a media company owned by Comcast. They operate out of two different buildings and have different management teams, but they do collaborate on news gathering and reporting.
When it came to production of the debate, CNBC was on its own. In NBC’s halls on Thursday, there was chatter about whether the debate would’ve benefited if NBC’s political reporters and managers had been involved.