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Trump Thinks Debate Moderator Anderson Cooper Will Be 'Very Biased'

Trump Thinks Debate Moderator Anderson Cooper Will Be 'Very Biased'


During an interview with the Washington Post, the CEO criticized "how Anderson Cooper behaves." 

Donald Trump doesn't think Anderson Cooper is fit to be a debate moderator.

In an interview with the Washington Postpublished Thursday, the Republican nominee criticized Cooper's choice to emcee the town hall debate on Oct. 9, which he will co-host with Martha Raddatz of ABC News. Trump claims that the out CNN anchor, who will become the first openly gay man to moderate a debate, will be "very biased."

"I don't think Anderson Cooper should be a moderator, because Anderson Cooper works for CNN," said Trump, adding: "He'll be very biased, very biased. I don't think he should be a moderator. I'll participate, but I don't think he should be a moderator."

"CNN is the Clinton News Network," Trump continued, "and Anderson Cooper, I don't think he can be fair."

Trump believes that following Matt Lauer's widely criticized performance during the Commander-in-Chief Forum earlier this month, in which he failed to fact check Trump's false claim that he opposed the war in Iraq, there's going to be greater pressure on moderators to go for the jugular.

"Now the new person is going to be really hard on Trump just to show the establishment what he can do," he said.

As evidence that Cooper would be tough on Trump -- and not Clinton -- the GOP nominee made a cryptic reference to "how Anderson Cooper behaves." That's likely a nod to the CNN anchor's Sept. 13 interview with the former Secretary of State, in which he asked Clinton about her recent pneumonia scare.

"There's a lot of folks who are very worried about you," Cooper said. "How are you feeling?"

That empathetic address disguises the fact that Cooper asked difficult questions regarding criticism of how Clinton handled her illness, including a tweet from political operative and former senior advisor to President Obama, David Axelrod. "Antibiotics can take care of pneumonia," Axelrod wrote. "What's the cure for an unhealthy penchant for privacy that repeatedly creates unnecessary problems?"

In his past history as a moderator, Cooper has been thorough in his questioning of Clinton. During the CNN Democratic Debate in October, he asked the former First Lady, "Will you say anything to get elected?"

Trump has criticized Cooper numerous times in the past week, reviving his concerns about the newsman's objectivity during a Monday interview with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly. The billionaire businessman claimed that while he believes Cooper will be unfair, Trump argued that Chris Wallace, who is moderating the Oct. 19 debate, will be "tough."

"I have done a lot of work with Chris, and I have never had a problem with him," he said.

David Brock, the founder of Media Matters for America, claimed that Wallace's current position at Fox News, where he serves as an anchor, is a "conflict of interest."

"Roger Ailes, who resigned from Fox News in July, simultaneously provides advice to Donald Trump while serving as a paid adviser to Fox News chief Rupert Murdoch--debate moderator Chris Wallace's boss," Brock wrote in a letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates.

This is a jarring contrast with Trump's earlier remarks on Cooper's performance as a debate moderator following a GOP town hall debate in March, held in Milwaukee.

"Anderson got very good ratings," Trump said at the time. "We're very happy for Anderson."

A recent poll from Morning Consult found that among registered voters, the greatest number thought Cooper would be the "least biased" of the debate moderators. Twenty-eight percent of respondents said that Cooper would ask "tough questions," as opposed to just 15 percent for Wallace and eight percent for Raddatz.

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