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>> It was the first time both presidential candidates faced questions in a single public event, but by the end of the night, the story was less the contestants than the moderator. NBC's Mat Lauer, host of the Today Show, pilloried for what many decried as unequal treatment of his guests.
The broadcast Wednesday night, meant to focus on national security, featured back to back 30 minute interviews with, first Democrat Hillary Clinton, followed by Republican Donald Trump. Lauer went on to spend nearly a third of his time with Clinton quizzing her about her use of a private email server, which the FBI says she used to send and receive classified information.
In later questions, he went on the interrupt some of her answers on actual national security policy, due to what he explained was a lack of time. Criticism of Lauer began to mount right after Donald Trump took the stage as soon as he said this.>> I was totally against the war in Iraq.
>> And Lauer didn't challenge him.>> That was a disaster.>> People talk about you and Commander-in-Chief.>> Trump has often made the assertion that he opposed the 2003 intervention, when in fact, he had said he was in favor of the invasion. Lauer can't really claim he didn't know this, Clinton had pointed it out just a few minutes before.
Some of the attacks on Lauer came from Clinton Democrats. Much of it came from other members of the media. Many said Lauer had a clear double standard. Clinton got tough questions, Trump kid gloves. This, despite the fact that Trump raised more than a few eyebrows in his answers, primarily for suggesting Russian strong man President Vladimir Putin was a better leader than President Barrack Obama.
And for later defending a tweet suggesting that a wave of sexual assaults in the armed forces, was a result of men and women serving together. Of course when pressed on this he used a standard Trump defense.>> It is a correct tweet, there are many people that think that that's absolutely correct.
>> Lauer will not moderate any of the actual presidential debates. Representing NBC will fall to Nightly News host, Lester Holt.