Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Friday praised Matt Lauer’s interviewing skills during an appearance before the Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC.
Lauer’s performance as a moderator at NBC’s “Commander-in-Chief” Forum on Wednesday night was derided by critics in the press and on social media.
He was criticised for allegedly lobbing softball questions at Trump, while grilling Hillary Clinton on her use of a private email server, reported Business Insider’s Mark Abadi.
“She was blaming Matt Lauer,” Trump said of Clinton.
“I thought Matt Lauer did a very good job,” he continued. “I mean, his questions to me were very tough.”
Trump mentioned that the tougher questions addressed to Clinton at the forum on Wednesday came not from Lauer but audience members. A former Navy officer confronted Clinton, saying that had he communicated top-secret information without following proper protocols, he would have been imprisoned.
“The gentleman who stood up and said honestly, ‘You should be imprisoned for what you did.’ That was the tough one,” Trump said. “… It was sort of a question in the form of a statement.”
Andy Lack, the chairman of NBC News and MSNBC, also praised Lauer’s performance at the forum in a memo to staff obtained by Politico.
“Matt did a tremendous job — driving one of the most serious discussions to date on these topics,” Lack wrote. “Nearly 15 million people watched the event, and over 26 million tuned in at some point during the hour.”
Trump will debate Clinton for the first time on September 26.
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