Trump amplifies allegations of bias against another presidential debate moderator

Date: 2020-10-17 17:08:27

Location: www.politico.com

President Donald Trump boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. Trump is beginning a three-day trip with events in Michigan and Wisconsin. | AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

President Donald Trump on Saturday again amplified accusations of bias against a debate moderator, deriding NBC News correspondent Kristin Welker ahead of next week's final debate against Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

In what's become a familiar campaign tactic, Trump commented on and retweeted a message posted by his son, Donald Trump Jr., linking to a New York Post article alleging Welker’s “deep Democrat ties.”

“Yikes! Here we go again,” the president's son wrote, accompanied by an eye-roll emoji.

Linking to Don Jr.'s tweet, the president wrote: “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?"

The article highlights that Welker’s parents have given thousands of dollars to Democratic candidates — including both Biden and Trump’s previous opponent, Hillary Clinton — and her prior party registration as a Democrat.

An NBC spokesperson said Welker has not had any party affiliation since registering to vote in Washington, D.C., in 2012 and pointed to comments made earlier this month by Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller calling the White House correspondent “very fair” and “a very good choice” as debate moderator.

Later Saturday, Trump continued to attack Welker during a rally in Wisconsin, sarcastically referring to her as one of the “totally non-biased anchors.”

Trump in his tweet also referenced longtime C-SPAN anchor Steve Scully, who was supposed to moderate the second presidential debate — which was canceled after Trump pulled out in protest of a format change in response to his Covid-19 diagnosis.

Scully was indefinitely suspended on Thursday after he admitted to falsely claiming his Twitter account was hacked when a message he sent to former Trump aide Anthony Scaramucci began drawing the ire of Trump and his allies.

Trump, who frequently refers to the media as “enemies of the people,” has repeatedly lashed out at referees who have challenged him during recent primetime televised events, typically reporters or hosts for the news outlet.

In addition to Scully, the president has publicly stewed over Savannah Guthrie's moderation of an NBC town hall held Thursday in lieu of the scuttled presidential debate.

At a rally ahead of that town hall, the president claimed he was “being set up” and rehashed a list of grievances with NBC’s news operation and its front-facing personalities.

And Fox News Channel’s Chris Wallace, who helms its flagship Sunday news program, has been a bugaboo among Trump and his supporters since he moderated the first presidential debate last month, drawing the president’s ire for trying to keep him from steamrolling the event.

Trump has also laid siege to the nonpartisan body that oversees the presidential debates, with he and his supporters claiming without evidence that they are conspiring to stymie his reelection.

The 90-minute final presidential debate is scheduled to be held on Oct. 22 at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee.