Lester Holt, anchor of “NBC Nightly News” will moderate Monday’s presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Previous moderators have advised this year’s questioners to be as invisible as possible, but scrutiny is inevitable.
Before the lights go on, here are five things to know about Holt:
5. Holt is a registered Republican
Donald Trump has spent the weeks leading up to the general election debates predicting unfair treatment by the moderators. He says the media using criticism of Matt Lauer’s performance during a candidates forum this month to pressure the moderators into attack mode.
“They’re hitting Matt Lauer, and that’s sort of indicative of what they’re — they’re trying to game the system,” Trump told Fox News last weekend. “They want — and this, I think, is terrible — they want the hosts to go after Trump. And that’s what they’re doing by gaming the system.”
Conspiratorial as Trump’s theory is, it can’t be disproven. But the shot he took at Holt can be.
“Lester is a Democrat,” Trump told Bill O’Reilly last week. “It’s a phony system. They are all Democrats. It’s a very unfair system.”
Time magazine checked the voter rolls in New York, and it turns out Holt is actually a registered Republican. Trump still might find things to complain about Monday night, but a case for partisan bias against him will be tough to make.
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