Kristen Welker Gets Praise From Trump as Debate Moderator—Left and Right Agree

President Donald Trump praised NBC's Kristen Welker for moderating his final debate with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden after previously claiming she was biased. Welker also received bipartisan support on social media on Thursday night.

"By the way, so far I respect very much the way you're handling this, I have to say," Trump said to Welker during the debate on Thursday night.

Chris Wallace of Fox News was widely criticized for his performance as the moderator of Trump and Biden's debate in Cleveland, Ohio on September 29, which was marked by repeated interruptions and insults. He was compared unfavorably to Welker on social media as the final debate took place.

"There is time left but Kristen Welker has given a master class on how to moderate a debate fairly," Christian conservative writer Carmine Sabia tweeted. "Is Chris Wallace watching?"

"Dear Chris Wallace," tweeted progressive writer and journalist Touré. "Notice how Kristen Welker is not constantly appeasing Trump with 'Mr President, You will like the next question!'"

"I think we can agree," podcaster Tim Pool, who supports Trump, tweeted. "[Kristen Welker] > chris Wallace."

"Chris Wallace: I just didn't know what to do," tweeted progressive activist and writer Charlotte Clymer, along with Welker's name alongside a "relieved" emoji.

"[Welker] did an excellent job moderating tonight," tweeted Democratic Senator and former presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar.

Welker also received praise from her colleagues and other prominent figures in broadcast journalism. NBC's Andrea Mitchell said that she was the "winner" of the debate, adding that Welker was "clearly in command from start to finish." Former CBS anchor Dan Rather called her "a consummate pro on a big and difficult stage."

Wallace reacted to the debate by saying he was "jealous" of Welker's performance when asked on Fox News, adding that he "would've liked to have been able to moderate that debate and get a real exchange of views instead of hundreds of interruptions." His reaction drew further condemnation from some on Twitter.

"WOW. Instead of simply congratulating Kristen Welker, Chris Wallace says he's 'jealous' and 'I wish I could have moderated that debate,'" Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis tweeted. "You had your chance, Chris, and you blew it. Own it."

Wallace had previously told the New York Times he "was sad with the way" the previous presidential debate turned out, calling it "a terrible missed opportunity."

"I never dreamt that it would go off the tracks the way it did," he said.

The Commission on Presidential Debates adopted new rules for Thursday's debate, including allowing Welker to mute microphones for either candidate as the other spoke on a topic for two minutes.

Newsweek reached out to the Trump and Biden campaigns for comment.

Kristen Welker
Moderator Kristen Welker is pictured during the final debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in Nashville, Tennessee on October 22, 2020. Jim Bourg-Pool/Getty