America was divided over whether the NBC newsman's staying to the sidelines of Monday's presidential debate was an effective strategy
Credit: Raymond Hagans/MediaPunch/IPX

Monday night’s presidential debate left many Americans most conflicted not about whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton prevailed, but about the effectiveness of moderator Lester Holt, who was relatively silent throughout the political face-off.

Although Holt interrupted the candidates at times to fact-check their statements and remind them of their time limits, he also allowed their heated discussions of policy and values to go largely unchaperoned.

While some debate viewers took to social media to praise the NBC anchor for staying out of the spotlight, others wondered why he abstained from cutting off Clinton and Trump more often. And those viewers vented through memes. Trump supporters were largely dissatisfied with Holt’s performance, accusing him of unfairly attacking Trump more often than Clinton.

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Monday’s debate was the first of three that will take place in the remaining weeks leading up to November’s election. The Hofstra University-hosted event was expected to draw an estimated 100 million viewers.