The event seemed more like a boxing match than an interview and discussion with voters as Trump sparred with Savannah Guthrie over wearing a face mask, denouncing white supremacy and the QAnon conspiracy group.
Meanwhile, Joe Biden was questioned by ABC's George Stephanopoulos in Philadelphia In front of an audience of undecided voters and set a far more sedate tone.
The split-screen town halls could not have been more different: while Biden was barely interrupted Stephanopoulos, in Miami Guthrie asked more questions than the undecided voters. The evening was dedicated to and challenged Trump repeatedly in a way the president doesn't usually experience, given his preference for interviews with friendlier news outlets.
'Let's waste a whole show,' the president snapped at her when she asked him about the retweets on his Twitter feed, which have contained QAnon conspiracy theories and unproven claims Seal Team Six killed Osama bin Laden's body double.
'You're not somebody's crazy uncle who can just retweet whatever,' Guthrie told him as she pressed him on the issue.
She kept the president on his toes with quick questions and repeated follow ups, pushing him to answer questions he incessantly tried to deflect.
However, soon after the debate ended, Trump's campaign boasted he had 'defeated opponent' Guthrie, saying he had 'masterfully handled her attacks'.
During the evening, the president admitted to owing more than $400 million to creditors, he denied knowing about QAnon while somehow praising them for fighting pedophilia, and refused to answer whether was tested for COVID the day of his first presidential debate.
The evening started out with the president saying he can't remember when he last tested negative for the coronavirus before he was diagnosed with it on October 3. Pressed repeatedly by NBC's Savannah Guthrie, Trump couldn't say if he was tested for the disease on the day of the first presidential debate with Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
'Did you test the day of the debate?,' Guthrie asked him.
'I don't know. I don't even remember,' Trump responded.
Unmentioned by either ABC or NBC were Hunter Biden's emails, which were revealed by Rudy Giuliani, Trump's personal attorney, earlier this week and raised questions over his business dealings in Ukraine and China and whether he used his father to further them. Also unmentioned was the storm over Twitter banning distribution of stories about the email on its platform.
An unusual, if not memorable, moment in the NBC hall was when Paulette Dale, described as leaning toward voting for Joe Biden, appeared to flirt with the president. 'I have to say, you have a great smile. You're so handsome when you smile,' she told him. 'Thank you,' Trump said as the audience applauded.