Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump greets moderator Lester Holt of NBC News as he and Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton take the stage for their first debate at Hofstra University, Sept. 26, 2016 in Hempstead, N.Y. 
Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Despite previous praise, Trump lashes out at debate moderator

After Monday night’s debate, Donald Trump had nothing but positive things to say about NBC News anchor Lester Holt, the event’s moderator. “Honestly, I thought Lester did a great job,” the Republican said shortly after the debate ended, adding, “I thought it was very fair.”

Soon after, Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, echoed the sentiment, saying Holt “did a great job as a moderator under tough circumstances.”

But as it started to dawn on Trump that he lost the debate badly, the Republican changed his tune. The New York Times reported:
Sounding weary and impatient as he called into a Fox News program, Mr. Trump criticized Lester Holt, the NBC News anchor, for asking “unfair questions” during the debate Monday evening. […]

And Mr. Trump again complained at [a campaign event in Florida] about how he had been treated by Mr. Holt, whom he referred to as “the M.C.”
Trump specifically called out Holt for asking about a 1973 discrimination lawsuit against Trump’s company – a complaint that didn’t make sense since Holt didn’t ask about the case. (Hillary Clinton did.)

Nevertheless, if it seems like this falls into an unfortunate pattern for the GOP nominee – praise one day, criticism the next – it’s not your imagination.

When Trump visited Flint, Michigan, for example, he was nothing but polite towards the Rev. Faith Green Timmons at the Bethel United Methodist Church – a tone that changed when the Republican candidate complained about Timmons to Fox News the day after.

When Trump visited Mexico, he tried to be as diplomatic as possible towards President Enrique Pena Nieto – a posture that quickly turned towards animosity once the candidate had returned stateside.

And at the debate, Trump thought Lester Holt did “a great job” and was “very fair” – praise that turned to criticism when he talked to Fox the next morning.