Republican nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpLev Parnas implicates Rick Perry, says Giuliani had him pressure Ukraine to announce Biden probe Saudi Arabia paid 0 million for cost of US troops in area Parnas claims ex-Trump attorney visited him in jail, asked him to sacrifice himself for president MORE praised moderator Lester Holt following Monday night’s debate, despite fielding tough questions from the NBC News anchor. 


"I thought Lester did a great job,” Trump told CNN. “Honestly, I thought he did a great job. I thought [the questions] were very fair."

Trump’s assessment of Holt is different from that of his surrogates and GOP operatives, however, who said the anchor was tougher on the businessman than on Democratic nomionee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonFormer Vermont Governor: Sanders 'will play dirty' NYT: Justice investigating alleged Comey leak of years-old classified info New Hampshire state lawmaker switches support from Warren to Klobuchar MORE

The moderator put Trump on the defensive multiple times, pressing him on his claims that he opposed the Iraq War, his refusal to release his tax returns, his support of stop-and-frisk policing tactics and his “birther” crusade against President Obama.

Breitbart News, which is close to the Trump campaign, published a post-debate piece titled, “Five Times Lester Holt Shilled For Hillary At First Debate” 


Holt interrupted Trump 30 times during the debate, according to a count compiled by the left-leaning news site Vox. Clinton was interrupted 19 times by the moderator.