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Maddow: Trump owes Welker an apology

MSNBC host Rachel MaddowRachel Anne MaddowDemocratic group launches seven-figure ad campaign on voting rights bill GOP's attacks on Fauci at center of pandemic message Fauci hits back at GOP criticism over emails: 'It's all nonsense' MORE said that President TrumpDonald TrumpDOJ asks Supreme Court to revive Boston Marathon bomber death sentence, in break with Biden vow Biden looking to build momentum for Putin meeting DOJ tells media execs that reporters were not targets of investigations MORE owes NBC News journalist Kristen Welker an apology after the Trump campaign repeatedly attacked her leading up to the final presidential debate on Thursday.

During post-debate coverage, fellow MSNBC host Brian Williams said that “someone owes our colleague Kristen Welker an apology,” referring to the president. 

Maddow responded, “Yeah, she’s owed an apology by the president, who attacked her over and over again heading into this evening.” 

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“She is owed an apology,” Maddow said. 

Trump and his campaign criticized Welker leading up to the debate. At a rally in Wisconsin last week, Trump complained that the NBC White House correspondent is “extremely unfair.” Earlier this week, he said she was a “radical Democrat.”  

But the president also offered off-hand praise of Welker during the debate, after criticizing the debate moderator earlier in the day. As he accused former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenFormer Rep. Rohrabacher says he took part in Jan. 6 march to Capitol but did not storm building Saudis picked up drugs in Cairo used to kill Khashoggi: report Biden looking to build momentum for Putin meeting MORE of wanting to ban fracking, Trump said that he respected her handling of the debate. 

“By the way, so far I respect very much the way you’re handling this, I have to say,” Trump said, before returning to his criticism of Biden.

Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer also came to Welker's defense earlier on Thursday, disputing the notion by the Trump campaign that Welker was an “activist.” 

“Sorry, she’s a reporter. She’s a reporter. She’s not an activist," Hemmer responded to Trump campaign advisor Mercedes Schlapp.