Donald Trump calls CNBC's John Harwood a 'disaster'

Donald Trump: 'Harwood is probably finished'
Donald Trump: 'Harwood is probably finished'

Donald Trump attempted to get even Tuesday with the debate moderator who asked whether he was running a "comic book" version of a presidential campaign.

At a press conference to promote his latest book "Crippled America," the billionaire developer and White House aspirant repeatedly went after CNBC's John Harwood, one of the moderators at the GOP debate.

"I think Harwood is probably finished as a credible reporter," Trump said. "He was a disaster."

Trump piled on a few moments later.

"I think debating is a good thing. It's healthy, gets everything into the open," Trump said. "But you don't want people like Harwood that read a question, 'bluh, bluh, bluh.' He wrote, he carefully wrote, he thought he was such -- his career, in my opinion, his career is probably ruined or certainly threatened."

Related: Seething GOP candidates escalate their CNBC grievances

About 10 minutes later, Trump was at it again, this time drawing a distinction between Harwood and CNBC's other two moderators, Becky Quick and Carl Quintanilla.

"By the way, I think Becky is terrific and I think Carl is terrific. But I think John Harwood is not very good at what he does," Trump said. "But I think Becky is a terrific person. I think Carl is a terrific person. But I will tell you, John Harwood was a disgrace to CNBC."

Trump did not say why he thought Harwood was a "disaster," but Harwood got under Trump's skin at the debate in Denver with the opening question to the candidate.

"Let's be honest," Harwood asked Trump. "Is this a comic book version of a presidential campaign?"

Trump responded by telling Harwood that it wasn't a "very nicely asked question the way you say that."

Harwood did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday. Brian Steel, CNBC's senior vice president of communications, defended Harwood.

"Journalists who ask would-be leaders of the free world substantive, challenging questions on interest rates, social security, the debt limit, student loans and taxes to name a few, should be applauded," Steel told CNNMoney.

Related: 'Shell-shocked' CNBC staffers had long flight home

CNBC was pilloried for the debate, with conservative and neutral observers criticizing the performance of the moderators.

The outrage within the GOP even prompted the party to issue various demands to future debate sponsors, and to suspend a debate that was scheduled to be hosted by NBC News.

But the Republicans were unable to stage a united front behind the proposed reforms, with many GOP presidential campaigns declining to sign a letter outlining the demands.

Related: GOP debate revolt crumbles

The party is united in its aversion to Harwood , and Trump, who has spent much of the campaign attacking various members of the press, has perhaps been the loudest critic.

"Everyone agrees that Harwood bombed!" Trump tweeted the morning after the debate.

It's not the first time Trump has gone after a debate moderator who asked him questions he did not like. During the GOP debate on Fox, Megyn Kelly recited several insulting comments Trump had made about women.

Since that debate, Trump has repeatedly criticized Kelly and her show.

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