After the cancellation of the second debate, President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden only have one more chance to face off before the November 3rd election. Tonight, Trump and Biden will meet in Nashville for 2020's final presidential debate.
Kristen Welker of NBC News is set to moderate this matchup, after Fox News's Chris Wallace helmed the first one. On Weekend Today, which Welker co-anchors, she expressed her hope for a "substantive and good conversation" on the debate stage. Here, find out more about Welker, and how she became one of NBC's stars.
Kristen Welker is the co-anchor of Weekend Today, and an NBC News White House Correspondent.
Welker is certainly an experienced political broadcaster. Not only does she co-anchor Weekend Today, the famed Today show's weekend counterpart, but her reporting also appears across NBC and MSNBC's platforms. She is often featured on NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt and Meet the Press. She is also one of NBC News's White House Correspondents; Welker began covering the White House in 2011.
Welker previously covered the presidential race during the 2016 election cycle, and broke news while on the campaign trail: she was the reporter to reveal Vice President Joe Biden’s decision not to run for office that year.
Welker has worked in journalism for years.
Before reporting from the White House, Welker was an NBC correspondent based in Burbank, California. She joined NBC in 2010, and was nominated for a national Emmy Award for NBC News’ midterm election coverage later that year. Prior to Burbank, Welker worked at WCAU-TV, NBC’s Philadelphia station; WLNE-TV in Providence, Rhode Island; and KRCR-TV in Redding, California.
Welker is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She attended Harvard College, where she majored in history and graduated with honors. Welker once said she has wanted to be a journalist since she was in sixth grade—and while in college, she even interned for the Today show.
This is not her first time moderating a debate.
Though this will be Welker's first experience moderating a debate alone, she did get some practice last year. In November 2019, Welker co-moderated the fifth Democratic presidential primary debate in Atlanta.
Welker already announced the debate topics.
Like for this year's first presidential debate, a set of topics, chosen by the moderator, was announced ahead of time. Welker's list includes: "Fighting COVID-19," "American Families," "Race in America," "Climate Change," "National Security," and "Leadership." However, Welker noted that topics could be changed or added in response to breaking news.
Political figures on both sides of the aisle as well as fellow journalists have praised Welker, though Trump recently criticized her.
Recently, the President has lashed out on Twitter against Welker, claiming that the anchor is biased against him. Trump called Welker "terrible & unfair," even though both Biden and Trump's teams had previously agreed on the choice of moderator. In response, many political figures and journalists have expressed support for Welker.
Joe Lockhart, a press secretary to President Bill Clinton and current CNN analyst, tweeted, "First, ask anyone in politics in DC, D or R and they'll tell you what a real pro she is. Second, and this one is for you @realDonaldTrump you agreed to her as the moderator."
The Trump team has previously been supportive of Welker. Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller recently praised the anchor on Fox News.
"I have a very high opinion of Kristen Welker," Miller said. "I think she's going to do an excellent job as the moderator for the third debate. I think she's a journalist who’s very fair in her approach and I think that she'll be a very good choice for this third debate."
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