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Maddow: Trump owes Welker an apology

MSNBC host Rachel MaddowRachel Anne MaddowJuan Williams: Hypocrisy runs riot in GOP Tim Ryan: Prosecutors reviewing video of Capitol tours given by lawmakers before riot League of Conservation Voters adds racial justice issues to 2020 congressional scorecard MORE said that President TrumpDonald TrumpProsecutors focus Trump Organization probe on company's financial officer: report WHO official says it's 'premature' to think pandemic will be over by end of year Romney released from hospital after fall over the weekend 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 BidenSenate Democrats negotiating changes to coronavirus bill Rural Americans are the future of the clean energy economy — policymakers must to catch up WHO official says it's 'premature' to think pandemic will be over by end of year 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.