In news from the campaign trail, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are set to face off tonight in what’s expected to be the most watched presidential debate in U.S. history. Some TV network executives predict as many as 100 million people will tune in. Third-party candidates, including Libertarian Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Jill Stein, will be excluded under stringent rules set by the Commission on Presidential Debates, which is controlled by the Democratic and Republican parties. Tonight’s 90-minute debate will be held at Hofstra University on Long Island. NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt will serve as moderator. Ahead of the debate, Hillary Clinton’s campaign said Holt should act as a fact checker and call out Trump’s lies and false statements. This is Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook speaking Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”
Robby Mook: “All that we’re asking is that if Donald Trump lies, that it’s pointed out. It’s unfair to ask for Hillary both to play traffic cop with Trump, make sure that his lies are corrected, and also to present her vision for what she wants to do for the American people.”
Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway fired back, telling ABC, “I really don’t appreciate campaigns thinking it is the job of the media to go and be these virtual fact checkers and that these debate moderators should somehow do their bidding.” The head of the Commission on Presidential Debates later agreed that moderators should not fact-check during debates. This is the commission’s executive director, Janet Brown, speaking on CNN.
Janet Brown: “If you start getting into fact checking, I’m not sure what is a big fact, what’s a little fact, and if you and I have different sources of information, does your source about the unemployment rate agree with my source? I don’t think it’s a good idea to get the moderator into essentially serving as the Encyclopedia Britannica.”
Donald Trump had said that the moderator of tonight’s debate, Lester Holt of NBC News, is a Democrat. In fact, he’s a registered Republican. Meanwhile, Donald Trump also said Saturday he might bring Gennifer Flowers to sit in the front row of tonight’s debate. Flowers had an affair with Bill Clinton in the 1970s. The Trump campaign later said it had not extended an invitation to Flowers and that she would not attend.