Trump lauds debate moderators at rally: ‘They treated me very fairly’

Former President Trump said at a rally Friday that he thought CNN’s presidential debate moderators, Dana Bash and Jake Tapper, treated him “very fairly” on Thursday night.

“I shouldn’t knock CNN because I actually thought they treated me very fairly last night. Very professional, both of them. Jake and Dana, they treated me very fairly,” Trump said to a Virginia crowd in comments highlighted by Mediaite.

Trump told the audience that CNN abused him for years but said he thought it was “great” that Tapper and Bash treated him “fairly” on Thursday.

Some liberals were critical that the moderators did not fact check the two candidates, allowing each of them to say false statements.

The former president spent his afternoon at the rally, where he criticized President Biden and his shaky performance, which became the story of the night. Biden’s debating sparked widespread fear among Democrats and calls for him to step aside to have someone new take on Trump this fall.

Following Biden’s performance, however, Republicans praised CNN and how the debate was handled.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) said online that the debate was an event that was “a top-notch debate that was fair, informative and controlled.”

“This format worked well. Plenty of fiery exchanges but more watchable for the viewers,” he said. “Well done.”

Donald Trump Jr., the former president’s son, said he liked the format, which included muting the candidate’s microphone when they were not speaking.

“I actually like this format for my father. Keeping him disciplined and focused. He’s dismantling Biden’s disastrous and failed policies one by one piece by piece,” he posted on social media platform X.

Tech billionaire Elon Musk also weighed in on CNN’s broadcast.

“Have to say that @CNN did a good job managing the debate. Questions were reasonable and non-partisan. No favoritism was shown to either candidate,” Musk said. “This is what the public wants from the media.”

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