Commander-in-Chief forum host Matt Lauer has sparked uproar across the nation for his treatment of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump during the live NBC event Wednesday night in New York City.
Lauer failed to challenge Trump on the claim that he opposed the invasion of Iraq.
“I was against the war in Iraq, I said it's going to totally destabilize the Middle East, which it has. It's been a disastrous war. And perhaps almost as bad was the way Barack Obama got out. That was a disaster,” he told Lauer.
But Trump told Howard Stern the opposite during a 2002 interview.
When asked by the shock jock if he was in favor of invading Iraq, he said: "Yeah, I guess so. I wish you know, the first time it was done correctly."
Lauer was also blasted for frequently interrupting Clinton during the TV forum.
In one instance, she had said: “Our decision was to put together an international coalition, including Russia and China to exert the kind of pressure that the United States alone could not do.”
Lauer interjected and said: “You said you think they're going to cheat.”
“Let me finish,” she declared.
“I want to get to a lot of questions,” Lauer fired back.
She responded: “I will talk quickly, but I want people to understand this.”
During a question Clinton fielded from a vet about her plan to defeat ISIS, Lauer jumped in before she could answer and said: “As briefly as you can.”
Some have called Lauer’s actions sexist.
Political commentator Norman Ornstein wrote on Twitter: “Lauer interrupted Clinton’s answers repeatedly to move on. Not once for Trump. Tough to be a woman running for president.”
Trump got submissive Lauer cowed, so naturally macho Lauer reverted to attacking the women. Yes, the moderation was that sexist.— Jim Safley (@jimsafley) September 8, 2016
In response to his performance as moderator, a Twitter hashtag #LaueringTheBar quickly gained steam on the microblogging site.
The Huffington Post said the Today show host “failed the moderator test” under the headline: “Lauer Cowers.” The New York Times said: “Matt Lauer Fields Storm of Criticism Over Clinton-Trump Forum.”