Republican presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats' CNN town halls exposed an extreme agenda Buttigieg says he doubts Sanders can win general election Post-Mueller, Trump has a good story to tell for 2020 MORE believes some members of the media are "gaming the system" by pressuring debate moderators to go tougher on him than Democratic rival Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDavis: The shocking fact that Mueller never would have accused Trump of a crime Trump says he would challenge impeachment in Supreme Court The Hill's Morning Report - Will Joe Biden's unifying strategy work? MORE.

"It's called gaming the system, like Bobby Knight, he would hit the referee, well they're hitting Matt Lauer and they're trying to game the system," Trump told Fox News "Media Buzz" host Howard Kurtz on Sunday, referring to the college basketball coaching legend.

"They want, and I think it's terrible, but they want the host to go after Trump."

Longtime NBC "Today" show co-host Matt Lauer was eviscerated by many media outlets — mostly left-leaning — for his treatment of Clinton when he moderated NBC's recent "Commander-in-Chief Forum" in New York City that featured both candidates, albeit separately.

Trump, however, on Sunday commended Lauer for being tough on both candidates.

"Matt Lauer did a fine job. Matt Lauer was very tough on me, and I guess he was tough on her, I thought frankly he was tougher on me. I won that evening, the forum, the NBC forum, and according to every poll and everybody just about, I won that evening with Hillary."

Kurtz also asked why Trump restored press credentials for certain news organizations that he had deemed "grossly unfair" to him, including The Washington Post, the Huffington Post, Buzzfeed and Politico, among others.

"Because they can't treat me any worse," Trump said, "so I might as well let them be there."

Trump and Clinton face off in the first presidential debate of the season on Sept. 26 at Hofstra University in New York.

NBC's Lester Holt, whom Trump has called "a good guy" in an August radio interview with Hugh Hewitt, will be the moderator.