It’s a change of tone from January, when Trump congratulated Welker after she was given a slot as a weekend anchor, saying NBC “made a very wise decision.”
Trump senior campaign adviser Jason Miller said on Fox News just last week that Welker — whom he characterised as “very fair” — would do an “excellent job” moderating the third debate, which is set for Thursday in Nashville, Tennessee. “I have a very high opinion of Kristen Welker,” he said.
Trump previously agreed to Welker as a moderator.
But on Saturday, Trump ripped her in a tweet. “She’s aways been terrible & unfair, just like most of the Fake News,” he wrote, adding: “But I’ll still play the game.”
The presidents oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., piped up in a retweet: “Yikes! Here we go again!” He linked to an article claiming Welker has “deep Democratic ties.”
Trump also referred to Steve Scully in his tweet. Scully was supposed to moderate the second debate, which Trump refused to participate in after organizers said it would be virtual.
C-SPAN later suspended Scully after he allegedly lied about a tweet asking a former Trump pal for advice on how to respond to criticism from the president.
Trump also bashed Welker Saturday night at his rally in Janesville, Wisconsin, calling her “extraordinarily unfair.”
He also attacked NBC’s Savannah Guthrie — who held his feet to the fire during his town hall on Thursday — and Fox News’ “tough” Chris Wallace, who challenged Trump’s lies in an interview this summer.
Trump insisted to the crowd that he “did very well” with Guthrie and got “A+ marks” for his performance — something that might surprise his critics.
Trump also falsely insinuated that Guthrie had dropped out of sight. “But you know what?” he added. “We’re president, and they’re not.”
Both journalists and politicians — as well as Trump’s campaign adviser — hold Welker in high regard as fair and professional.
The Washington Women in Journalism Awards last month honored Welker as outstanding broadcast journalist of the year.
Welker hasn’t responded to Trump’s attacks.