Debate 2016: Donald Trump Criticizes Lester Holt for Being Tougher on Him than on Hillary Clinton
Republican candidate Donald Trump has criticized Lester Holt, the moderator in the first presidential debate, for being tougher on him than on Hillary Clinton.
Donald Trump also complained about his microphone crackling and being at a lower level than Hillary Clinton’s.
The two candidates clashed over jobs, temperament and tax in a debate watched by up to 100 million viewers.
Opinion polls give Hillary Clinton a slight edge, with a majority of voters declaring her the winner of the debate.
Although Donald Trump told reporters immediately after the debate that Lester Holt had done a good job, he accused him of a left-leaning performance the next morning.
“He didn’t ask her about the emails, he didn’t ask her about the scandals, he didn’t ask her about the Benghazi deal. He didn’t ask her about a lot of things he should have asked her about. Why? I don’t know,” he said, speaking to Fox and Friends.
Donald Trump said Lester Holt had been much tougher on him: “You look at it, you watch the last four questions, he hit me on birther [Donald Trump’s past allegation that President Barack Obama was not born in the US], he hit me on a housing deal from many years ago, that I settled on with no recourse and no guilt… that’s a beauty to be asked, a 40-year-old lawsuit.”
The Republican also said his microphone was “terrible” and crackled, and that his volume was lower than Hillary Clinton’s microphone. He blamed it for what some listeners thought were sniffles by Donald Trump during the debate.
Asked to rate Hillary Clinton’s performance, Donald Trump said he would give her a C-plus, but he declined to grade himself.
“I think I really did well when they asked normal questions,” he said, but added he naturally struggled when asked “unanswerable” ones.
On what he might do differently: “I may hit her harder in certain ways. You know, I really eased up because I didn’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings. So I may hit her harder in certain ways.”
Hours before the debate, polls suggested the candidates were locked in a dead heat, adding to the tension between the rivals on stage throughout the debate.
“I have a feeling that by the end of this evening, I’m going to be blamed for everything that’s ever happened,” Hillary Clinton quipped when prompted to respond to one of Donald Trump’s attacks.
“Why not?” Donald Trump interrupted.
“Yeah, why not,” Hillary Clinton answered.
“You know, just join the debate by saying more crazy things.”
Donald Trump was later thrown on the defensive by Lester Holt for not disclosing his tax returns.
He claimed he was under a “routine audit”.
However, Donald Trump promised he would release them if Hillary Clinton released 33,000 emails that were deleted during an investigation into her private email set-up while secretary of state.