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Piers Morgan: Hillary Clinton won first debate, but it ‘won’t do her any good’

Piers Morgan attends the premiere of 'Entourage' on June 1, 2015 in Westwood, California. Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Piers Morgan has written another op-ed for The Daily Mail, this time about the first debate between presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. While he concedes that Democratic candidate Clinton won the most “points” in the debate, he says that it won’t matter in the long run.

Morgan, a personal friend of Trump who actually won a season of the formerly Trump-hosted show The Celebrity Apprentice, doesn’t outright say the business mogul will win the election, but says the debate is merely a blip on the radar during the lengthy, nearly two-year-long presidential campaign. Morgan is convinced that Trump will come out swinging for the second debate, which takes place on Sunday, Oct. 9.

READ MORE: Donald Trump praises his “winning” first debate performance

The former CNN host clearly states that Clinton got the better of Trump, despite what the majority of major news organizations in the U.S. reported post-debate (many outlets, from Time to Fox News to Fortunesaid that Trump won). He admits to being surprised at Trump’s lack of teeth when facing Clinton for the first time.

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“It was the best I’ve seen Clinton perform in any debate and a reminder that she remains a formidable candidate,” wrote Morgan. “By contrast I thought Trump, by his own debate standards, was disappointing. If your shtick is to unload big punches, they’ve got to connect. But each time I thought he was about to deliver a knockout pile-driver, he either backed off, switched tack or got distracted.”

“For a man who has displayed a rare marketing genius in this race for hammering home simple, powerful messages, Trump’s rhetoric was oddly lacking in clarity,” he continued. “He let her off the hook about her biggest vulnerability – the email scandal.”

Clinton tried to evade the well-known email scandal, and mostly succeeded. She admitted that she made a mistake and then moved on. Rather than counter-attack, Trump went onto a different topic without digging in.

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Morgan laments Trump’s failure to bring up her “basket of deplorables” comment, the Clinton Foundation (which is allegedly “mired” in controversy), her ties to Wall Street or the Benghazi terror attack.

He also thinks that moderator Lester Holt was biased in his treatment of the two candidates.

“[Holt was] directing way more interruptions and follow-ups to Trump than Clinton,” wrote Morgan. “It was an inevitable consequence of all the comically overblown attacks on his NBC colleague Matt Lauer for supposedly going ‘too soft’ on Trump at the Presidential Forum two weeks ago. But was it fair to Trump? No.”

Morgan then lists several reasons why Trump did a “perfectly competent” job at the debate: there were no serious gaffes from the businessman, no “smoking gun” presented, and he wasn’t the “Hitler-like monster” he’s often depicted as.

READ MORE: Who won? Here are what pundits, pollsters are saying

As a result, Morgan predicts Trump’s poll numbers will stay exactly where they are — in a dead heat with Clinton.

He concludes his op-ed by giving Trump some advice for the second debate, which he admits the Republican has to be better prepared for.

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“If I were advising him, I’d be blunt and to the point: ‘Donald, stop getting side-tracked into messy corners, it’s time to take the gloves off,'” he wrote. “As you always told me on Celebrity Apprentice, Mr. Trump: ‘Go hard, or go home.'”

You can read Morgan’s full op-ed here.

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