Donald Trump Praises Hillary Clinton's Debate Performance

PHOTO: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally, Oct. 8, 2015, in Las Vegas. PlayAP Photo
WATCH Donald Trump Praises Hillary Clinton's Debate Performance

Donald Trump expressed praise today for Hillary Clinton’s debate performance Tuesday night, telling ABC News that the front-running Democratic candidate “did what she had to do."

"She got through it fine,” he said by phone this morning. “It was a very kind debate, very gentle. She came out the winner."

Trump said Sen. Bernie Sanders should have attacked Clinton more and that their on-stage handshake was a mistake. "I think that he's losing by quite a bit; he shouldn't have done it," Trump said of the Sanders-Clinton handshake prompted by Sanders' saying Americans are tired of hearing about the "damn emails" that continue to dog her campaign.

PHOTO: Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton shake hands at the end of a presidential debate at Wynn Las Vegas, Oct. 13, 2015 in Las Vegas.Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton shake hands at the end of a presidential debate at Wynn Las Vegas, Oct. 13, 2015 in Las Vegas.

Trump, the GOP front-runner, also addressed the new FOX News poll that shows a virtual tie between the real estate mogul and Ben Carson. "I can't really explain it,” he said. “I've been number one for a really long time. He's a good guy. He's a nice guy; we get along well. We will see if that continues."

Trump said he will "probably at some point" attack Carson but is holding off for now because "he's been so nice to me."

Carson and Trump will return to the debate stage Oct. 28, when all the GOP presidential candidates are scheduled to meet at the University of Colorado in Boulder.