Washington (CNN)Bernie Sanders made a "big mistake" by giving Hillary Clinton cover not to discuss her emails, Donald Trump said the morning after the first Democratic presidential debate.
Donald Trump: Bernie Sanders made 'big mistake' on Hillary Clinton emails
"You have an FBI investigation on the emails and he just let her off," the billionaire businessman and Republican presidential front-runner said Wednesday on MSNBC's Morning Joe. "When you're losing that badly you have to go a lot stronger."
Trump told ABC's "Good Morning America" that the candidates trailing Clinton failed to appropriately challenge her.
"I thought the others were not strong. They were not going after her. They were kind to her. Very gentle," he told GMA. "They had to hit her hard. They decided not to do that."
Despite some strong sound bites, Trump said Sanders will not overtake Clinton as the front-runner.
"I don't think he's going to get her. I think his performance was OK," he said. "He had to be much better than okay. He had to come out the clear winner. And he didn't."
Sanders received one of the biggest applause lines of the night when he criticized the ongoing investigation into the former Secretary of State's private email server.
"The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails," he said Tuesday night. "Enough of the emails! Let's talk about the real issues facing America."