NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker received rave reviews from Democrats, Republicans, and folks in between for her performance in moderating Thursday night’s final debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.
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After President Trump warned ahead of the debate that Welker has “always been terrible and unfair,” midway through the debate he tipped his hat to the journalist for how she was conducting the bout.
The Hill reported that “as he accused former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday night of wanting to ban fracking, Trump threw out a compliment to Welker, saying that he respected her handling of the debate.”
“By the way so far I respect very much the way you’re handling this, I have to say,” Trump told the moderator, before returning to his back-and-forth with Biden.
Toward the end of the debate, conservative writer Carmine Sabia tweeted, “There is time left but Kristen Welker has given a master class on how to moderate a debate fairly. Is Chris Wallace watching?”
When the debate was over, pundits, politicians, and journalists of all stripes declared Welker as the person who came out on top in the evening’s performances.
Conservative Wayne Dupree tweeted, “#KristenWelker did one of the best moderator jobs we’ve seen in years. She didn’t give Biden snowball questions and that was huge!”
#KristenWelker did one of the best moderator jobs we’ve seen in years. She didn’t give Biden snowball questions and… https://t.co/bjcG6P9khC
The audience appeared happy, too. Bloomberg’s Jennifer Jacobs reported from the debate in Tennessee, “‘Home run,’ one person in Nashville debate audience said loudly of moderator @kwelkernbc, and dozens who heard that comment voiced agreement.”
“Home run,” one person in Nashville debate audience said loudly of moderator @kwelkernbc, and dozens who heard that… https://t.co/YluvXgE3ne
With a little more than two weeks until the 2020 presidential election, we are heading into the stretch run. The second presidential debate was canceled after President Donald Trump contracted coronavirus. No make-up date or virtual event could not be agreed upon between the two campaigns, which leaves only what was to be the third and final presidential debate.
Trump and Joe Biden will square off for 90 minutes at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, at 9 p.m. on Thursday. The moderator for the final debate is NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker.
In 2012, Welker and her family visited the White House in December, where she posed with Michele and Barack Obama. Welker shared a photo on Facebook from the White House Christmas party with the caption: “Christmas at the White House!”
An NBC spokesperson said Welker also attended President Trump’s White House Christmas party with her husband in 2017, according to the Washington Examiner.
Savannah Guthrie’s bias against President Trump will probably be exceeded by Kristen Welker’s bias at the next deba… https://t.co/Ehll8wItCJ
While reporting for MSNBC in March 2016, Welker is caught on camera informing Hillary Clinton’s communications director Jennifer Palmieri what question she planned on asking her on live TV. At the time, Clinton was in a tight primary battle with Sen. Bernie Sanders for the Democratic presidential nomination.
MSNBC Reporter Doesn’t Know She’s Live, Tips off Clinton Aide What She’ll Ask Her
In August, there was a shooting near the White House, and Trump was escorted out of the briefing room and into the Oval Office. Once the dust settled, Welker asked Trump, “Are you rattled at all by this Mr. President?” Trump calmly and sarcastically responded, “I don’t know, do I seem rattled?”
Later that day, Welker appeared on “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt,” where she misquoted Trump, “I asked the president if he was rattled by all of this, he said, ‘Of course,’ but he also expressed his gratitude to the Secret Service.”
In March, Welker asked Trump, “Dr. Fauci said earlier this week that the lag in testing was, in fact, a failing. Do you take responsibility for that, and when can you guarantee that every American who needs a test has a test?”
“Yeah, I don’t take responsibility at all because we were given a set of circumstances, and we were given rules, regulations, and specifications from a different time that wasn’t meant for this kind of an event with the kind of numbers that we’re talking about,” Trump responded.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, then corrected Welker on what she alleged him of saying.
“So just to reiterate what I said to many of you multiple times, it’s the descent of a system,” Fauci said. “The system was not designed for what it was designed for it worked very well. The CDC designed a good system. If you want to get the kind of blanket testing and availability that anybody can get it or you could even do surveillance to find out what the penetrance is, you have to embrace the private sector. And this is exactly what you’re seeing because you can’t do it without it. When I said that, I meant the system was not designed for what we need. Now looking forward, the system will take care of it.”
Q: Dr. Fauci said earlier this week that the lag in testing was, in fact, a failing. Do you take responsibility for… https://t.co/VDNnFtTQfk
Trump fired off a tweet about Welker on Sunday with the caption: “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?”
On Wednesday, Trump called Welker a “never Trumper from NBC.”
“Yeah I am, and I know who I’m going against,” Trump told Newsmax. “It’s one of those things.”
“The problem is the anchors are all crooked,” Trump said “Now we have Kristen Welker; she’s a disaster. She’s a never Trumper from NBC. You know, all of NBC is never Trump. That’s Con-cast. They’re all never Trump, they’re bad news. That’s MS-DNC. You know, they’re just bad news.”
Welker selected her topics for the debate: fighting COVID-19, American families, race in America, climate change, national security, and leadership, according to the Commission on Presidential Debates.