“Fox and Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade joined President Trump on Monday in railing against NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker just days before she is set to moderate the final presidential debate this week.
On Saturday, the President ripped Welker while quote-tweeting his son, Donald Trump Jr., who linked to a New York Post article claiming that the White House correspondent has “deep Democratic ties.” The Post reported that Welker’s parents have donated tens of thousands of dollars to Democratic candidates and close to $20,000 to former President Barack Obama alone.
Although Welker’s party registration is not currently listed, the Post reported that she was a registered Democrat in Washington, D.C., in 2012 and in Rhode Island in 2004. The Post also pointed to Welker and her parents celebrating Christmas at the White House with the Obamas in 2012.
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
Trump further tore into Welker while speaking to reporters ahead of his campaign rally in Prescott, Arizona on Monday afternoon.
After Trump accused Welker of being “a radical left Democrat or whatever she is,” Welker’s NBC News colleague Kelly O’Donnell stuck up for her by telling the President that his accusation is “not true.”
The President asked O’Donnell why she’s defending Welker, who temporarily deactivated her Twitter account last week after C-SPAN host Steve Scully — who was set to moderate a second presidential debate before Trump pulled out — deleted his account after falsely claiming that he was hacked when he reached out to former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci in a tweet.
“Then ask why are you defending her? Why did she delete her account? Would you please have her put her account back? And it’s not going to affect — it’s not going to affect me,” Trump said on Monday. “I’m going to be there.”
Trump added that he was “right” about NBC News’ Savannah Guthrie, who grilled the President while moderating the network’s town hall last week, before going back to attacking Welker.
“Kristen Welker — she put all of her statements back on. She deleted her entire account, she shouldn’t do that,” Trump said, despite the reinstatement of Welker’s Twitter account.
Trump is out here preemptively attacking Kristen Welker, the moderator of the upcoming presidential debate, as "a radical left Democrat, or whatever she is." pic.twitter.com/pss1wUmeSa
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) October 19, 2020
Kilmeade jumped on the Trumpworld’s Welker-bashing bandwagon on Monday morning. After criticizing topics for the debate that were selected by Welker as the moderator, Kilmeade tore into her for being “a registered Democrat before.”
“And this moderator, whose parents are Democratic donators, who was a registered Democrat before, who has the most hostile questions possible to Kayleigh McEnany, or whoever the press secretary is, and the President,” Kilmeade said. “How does she get picked to be the moderator at this debate? It’s incredible.”
A spokesperson for Welker told TPM on Monday that Welker is not a registered Democrat and has been a “registered independent in D.C. since 2012, almost a decade.”
Trump’s recent attacks against Welker starkly contrast his praise of the NBC News White House correspondent in January when he congratulated her for being named co-anchor of Weekend TODAY during a news conference. Trump told Welker that NBC “made a very wise decision.”
Trump’s latest criticism of Welker also contradicts what campaign senior adviser Jason Miller told Fox News earlier this month.
“I have a very high opinion of Kristen Welker. I think she’s going to do an excellent job as the moderator for the third debate,” Miller told Fox News’ Martha MacCallum, prior to Trump pulling out of the second presidential debate that was originally scheduled Oct. 15. “I think she’s a journalist who is very fair in her approach. And I think she’ll be a very good choice for this third debate.”
Additionally, Trump’s attacks against Welker come on the heels of him swiping at NBC “Today” show anchor Savannah Guthrie on Friday, who grilled the President as she moderated an NBC News town hall the night before.
Although Trump did not mention Guthrie by name, he told attendees at an event in Fort Myers, Florida the next day that he “had someone going totally crazy last night.”
Watch Kilmeade’s remarks below:
"Fox and Friends" co-host Brian Kilmeade attacks NBC News White House Correspondent Kristen Welker ahead of her moderation during second presidential debate pic.twitter.com/Rfp4pemPPf
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) October 19, 2020