NBC’s Kristen Welker, the reporter slated to moderate the second and final presidential debate on Thursday, was once caught on a hot mic coaching Hillary Clinton’s communications director prior to a live interview in 2016.
“And I’m going to ask you about Flint,” Welker said in the March 2016 moment caught live following a debate between Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in Flint, Michigan.
“Kristen, go ahead. You’re live. Kristen Welker in the spin room. I believe she has the Clinton communications director with her. Go ahead Kirsten,” MSNBC’s Ari Melber said.
“Ok thank you, I think this is his last question,” Welker continued, failing to respond to the prompt.
“You know we have Kristen Welker. We’re looking at her. She couldn’t quite hear me before. Can you hear me now if you can go ahead,” he continued as Welker finally responded:
As the New York Post reported, Welker also has deep ties to the Democrat Party and was listed as a registered Democrat in Washington, DC, in 2012. Her current party registration is unlisted.
The Post continued:
Her mother, Julie Welker, a prominent real estate broker in Philadelphia, and father, Harvey Welker, a consulting engineer, have donated tens of thousands of dollars to Democratic candidates and close to $20,000 to Barack Obama alone.
There was also $3,300 for Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign and $2,100 for Hillary Clinton’s doomed 2016 presidential effort against Trump. Another $7,300 was contributed to the Democratic National Committee between 2004 and 2020.
In 2012, Welker and her family celebrated Christmas at the White House with the Obamas.
The looming controversy over debate moderators follows Chris Wallace hosting a controversial first debate, which was peppered with interruptions, including from Wallace. Wallace ultimately blamed the contentious debate on President Trump, telling Fox News’s Bill Hemmer that the president bore “primary responsibility” for what happened.
“I felt like I had gotten together all of the ingredients, I had baked this beautiful, delicious cake, and frankly, the president put his foot in it,” he said.
The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) canceled the second presidential debate after Trump refused to participate in the virtual forum. C-SPAN’s Steve Scully was set to moderate the event but has since been suspended from C-SPAN after lying about his Twitter account being hacked.
A tweet from his account contained a message to former Trump ally turned Never Trumper Anthony Scaramucci, which read, “@Scaramucci should I respond to Trump.”
Trump has since taken to Twitter to acknowledge the bias of the final presidential debate moderator, saying of Welker, “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?” he asked:
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
The CPD has since released the topics selected by Welker ahead of the final debate, which includes climate change, whereas foreign policy has been removed.