President Donald Trump on Tuesday ripped NBC’s Kristen Welker, the moderator for the final presidential debate, as “totally partisan.”
In an interview on “Fox & Friends,” Trump said he would prefer a more neutral party to moderate the debate.
“Kristen Welker is terrible,” Trump said. “I mean she is totally partisan. Her father and mother are big supporters of Joe Biden for a long time. They’re supporters of the Democrat Party, and she deleted her entire account.”
“There are people out there that can be neutral. Kristen Welker cannot be neutral at all,” he said.
Welker was scheduled to follow C-SPAN’s Steve Scully, but after the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) announced that the second debate would be virtual, Trump dropped out. On the same day that the second debate was set to take place, Scully admitted that he lied about being hacked on Twitter.
“Kristen Welker is far worse than Scully, but I do it anyway,” Trump continued. “But this is the way it is. It’s so set up.”
Trump also blasted the CPD for changing the topic of the final debate, which was set to be on foreign policy. “The commission has lost tremendous credibility,” Trump said.
On Monday, Trump told reporters: “I will participate, but it’s very unfair that they changed the topics and it is very unfair that, again, we have an anchor who is totally biased.”
Team Trump also criticized the move.
“President Trump is committed to debating Joe Biden regardless of last minute rule changes from the biased commission in their latest attempt to provide advantage to their favored candidate,” Bill Stepien, Trump 2020 campaign manager, said in a statement. “This was supposed to be the foreign policy debate, so the President still looks forward to forcing Biden to answer the number one relevant question of whether he’s been compromised by the Communist Party of China. Why did Biden allow his son Hunter to sell access to him while he was vice president, and why were there Chinese payment arrangements for Joe himself worked out by Hunter and his sketchy partners? If the media won’t ask Joe Biden these questions, the President will, and there will be no escape for Biden.”
The topics for each of the three debates are the sole purview of the moderator. Welker announced this week the topics will be:
- Fighting COVID-19
- American Families
- Race in America
- Climate Change
- National Security
Trump also objected to a new rule by the CPD that will mute candidates’ microphones while his opponent delivers his two-minute answer to a question.
“We realize, after discussions with both campaigns, that neither campaign may be totally satisfied with the measures announced today,” the commission said in a statement. “One may think they go too far, and one may think they do not go far enough. We are comfortable that these actions strike the right balance and that they are in the interest of the American people, for whom these debates are held.”
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