Journalists and commentators for years have wrestled with the question of how to approach Donald Trump, a former president who is both a facetious liar and facing dozens of criminal charges in federal and state court. In her debut turn as moderator for Meet The Press, Kristen Welker wanted to be the latest to prove to critics that he could be challenged.
But like those who have tried before, her inherent skills as an interviewer were no match for a chaotic interview subject like Trump.
Welker managed to squeeze a plethora of topics into the hourlong exchange—a mighty feat when dealing with a man known to meander on a topic long enough to derail the overarching conversation. She approached Trump with the respect gifted to former presidents—often calling him “Mr. President”—and infrequently interrupted him, even when an in-the-moment fact check could be justified. Welker even managed to nail down semi-specific answers from a candidate who made a talent out of skirting specificity. (“I don’t think you should be allowed to have abortions well into a pregnancy,” he said at one point.)