Ex-presidential niece Mary Trump went off on Kristen Welker’s interview with ex-President Donald Trump on Meet the Press — and even suggested there were ground rules that included referring to him as “Mr. President.
As soon as the announcement was made that Welker would be interviewing Trump, criticism grew about the decision and the format of the interview — so much so that NYT reporter Peter Baker addressed it on-air during the show.
Then on Sunday, the interview aired on Welker’s first turn as permanent moderator of Meet the Press, and turned out to be the blizzard of falsehoods, misleading statements, and evidence-free attacks that many predicted it would be.
Mary Trump — host of The Mary Trump Show podcast and a strident Trump critic — reacted to the interview with a lengthy and blistering critique for her substack audience that carried the heavy suggestion that both NBC News and CNN before them had made significant concessions in order to gain access to Trump:
Much like CNN’s disastrous “town hall” in May of this year, the Meet the Press “interview” moderated by Kristin Welker, never should have happened. Both were train wrecks that most of us could see coming from several light-years away.
It appears both CNN and NBC approached Donald with the idea, which suggests the networks were in the weaker negotiating position from the beginning giving Donald most of the leverage. From CNN he got the moderator, the format, and the audience he wanted. Based on Sunday’s travesty, NBC followed gave him much of what he wanted as well.
To kick the interview off, Welker refers to Donald as “Mr. President” twice (we don’t yet know if this obsequiousness was voluntary or one of the concessions NBC made to him). She then asks him why he’s running for president again.
Addressing former presidents as “Mr. President” or “President (Last Name) is correct. When former President Barack Obama was interviewed by NPR in 2020, he was addressed as “Mr. President” once, while on 60 Minutes, he was called “Mr. President” five times. In his 60 Minutes interview, current President Joe Biden was called “Mr. President” nine times
According to the transcript of the full 78-minute Meet the Press interview, Welker called Trump “Mr. President” 82 times.