In interviews Wednesday morning, Donald Trump declared Hillary Clinton the winner of the first Democratic debate and criticized her opponents for not targeting her hard enough over her private email server.
“In all fairness, like her or not, she did her job,” the Republican presidential front-runner told the hosts of “Morning Joe” on Wednesday. “They were very, very kind. If they want to win, they should have been tougher.”
Trump, who is currently polling at the top of the crowded Republican primary field; live-tweeted the debate, saying he felt an “obligation” to watch a potential opponent. “Can anyone imagine Chafee as president? No way,” he wrote at one point. His debate tweets helped him spark a surge in his follower count, adding more than 150,000 followers on Tuesday and early Wednesday, eventually overtaking Clinton in total Twitter followers.
“Actually, probably if you think about it, she came out the winner,” Trump told “Good Morning America” a half hour later.
He slammed the other candidates for not targeting Clinton over her email scandal, reiterating that there’s a FBI investigation into her actions.
“They had to hit her hard and they decided not to do it,” Trump said. Sanders “gave up the email situation right then and there and I think that’s a mistake. He’s losing by so much, he should not have done that.”