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Trump attacks Bloomberg's height hours before their dueling Super Bowl ads

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By Allan Smith  with NBC News Politics
Image:Michael Bloomberg announces his Latino policy initiative at a campaig
Michael Bloomberg announces his Latino policy initiative at a campaign rally in El Paso, Texas, on Jan. 29, 2020.   -   Copyright  Cengiz Yar Getty Images

Hours before their dueling ads are set to compete in Sunday's Super Bowl, President Donald Trump attacked former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, over his height.

"Very little," Trump told Fox News of Bloomberg in a clip released hours ahead of his pre-Super Bowl interview with Sean Hannity. "I just think of little. You know, now he wants a box for the debates to stand on. OK. It's OK. There's nothing wrong. You can be short. Why should he get a box to stand on. He wants a box for the debates. Why should he be entitled? Does that mean everyone else gets a box."

"Cory Booker and all these people couldn't get all the things that Bloomberg's getting now," Trump continued. "But, I think it's very unfair for the Democrats. But I would love to run against Bloomberg. I would love it."

It was unclear what Trump was referencing in regards to Bloomberg requesting a box to stand on during an upcoming Democratic debate. Bloomberg, whose height was trending on Google Sunday, is listed as 5 feet, 8 inches tall.

Bloomberg's campaign said there was no truth to Trump's remarks.

"The president is lying," Bloomberg campaign spokesperson Julie Wood said in a statement. "He is a pathological liar who lies about everything: his fake hair, his obesity, and his spray-on tan."

Last week, the Democratic National Committee announced new criteria for debate qualification which opened the door for Bloomberg, who is not taking donations, to participate in future primary debates. As of Sunday, Bloomberg is in fourth place in the RealClearPolitics average of national Democratic primary polling.

Trump has spent the past few weeks attacking Bloomberg repeatedly on Twitter as Bloomberg ads blanket the airwaves.

Early Sunday morning, Trump tweeted that Bloomberg "is going nowhere, just wasting his money, but he is getting the DNC to rig the election against Crazy Bernie, something they wouldn't do for @CoryBooker and others." They are doing it to Bernie again, 2016.

Calling Bloomberg "Mini Mike," Trump claimed Bloomberg was unfairly "negotiating" to "have the right to stand on boxes" during a future debate. He also said Bloomberg, whose business portfolio includes a major media outlet, said the candidate was "part of the Fake News."

After Bloomberg announced he was running for president, Bloomberg News said it would not investigate its owner and, as a result, any of the other Democratic candidates so to be fair. But it said it would still do so with Trump as the current occupant of the White House.

Responding to Trump's midnight posts, Bloomberg tweeted: "Looks like our ads are keeping you up at night."

"We've got one in particular you should watch today," he continued, pointing to the upcoming Super Bowl ad.

Bloomberg's campaign is bypassing the first four primary contests and instead focusing on gaining delegates in Super Tuesday states and those in the weeks to follow. He has built up a massive campaign staff and has pledged to keep spending through the general election even if he is not the Democratic nominee.

On ABC's "This Week," Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang said the new DNC debate rules might not be so appealing to Bloomberg, who has yet to participate in a debate as a result of the previous standards.

"So, I'm not sure that this is a development that he's going to welcome, frankly," Yang said. "I think the DNC looked at this and said, we need to get Bloomberg on the debate stage. This change is clearly tailor made to deliver him to the debate stage."

He continued: "And the question is, whether this is a move that Mike's excited about it or whether Mike's indifferent to or even negative towards."