President Donald Trump is already unhappy with the moderator for the next debate of the 2020 presidential election. On Saturday, the president tweeted that NBC News anchor Kristen Welker has "always been terrible and unfair," but that he'll "still play the game." Trump's campaign staff has praised Welker, calling her a great choice for the debate.
Welker will moderate another debate between Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday, Oct. 22 on NBC. On Saturday, The New York Post ran a story about Welker's "deep Democratic ties," and Donald Trump Jr. retweeted the story adding: "Yikes! Here we go again," with an eye-rolling emoji. The president, in turn, retweeted his son with his own diminutive take on Welker.
She’s always been terrible & unfair, just like most of the Fake News reporters, but I’ll still play the game. The people know! How’s Steve Scully doing? https://t.co/uS3EWzfFPy— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2020
"She's always been terrible and unfair, just like most of the Fake News reporters, but I'll still play the game," he wrote. "The people know! How's steve Scully doing?"
Trump was referring to C-SPAN political editor Steve Scully, who was suspended indefinitely on Thursday for his behavior on Twitter. Trump mocked Scully in an interview with Fox News, and Scully alluded to the dig on Twitter, according to a report by The Associated Press. Scully initially claimed that his account had been hacked and that the post wasn't from him, but he later admitted that this was a lie.
What this has to do with Welker or the upcoming debate remains unclear, though many critics chalked it up to a "distraction tactic," which Trump is well-known for employing. One user wrote: "True debaters do not complain about the moderators. They adapt." Another added: "They could make Melania a moderator and you would still complain. You are a coward who can't take any challenge without crying like a baby."
Welker is a Harvard University graduate, who joined NBC News in 2010. She has served as the co-anchor of Weekend Today, as a correspondent based in California, and she took over her current role as a White House correspondent in 2011.0comments
Many commenters guessed that Trump would have taken issue with any reporter who was chosen for this debate due to his general distaste for journalists. He made similar attacks on the last debate host, Fox News' Chris Wallace, and on NBC's Savannah Guthrie, who moderated his "Town Hall" event on Thursday.
The second and final debate of the 2020 presidential election is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 22 in Nashville, Tennessee. It will go for 90 minutes, beginning at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.