Trump Complains About 'Ridiculous' Debate Schedule

He accuses Hillary Clinton of rigging it to clash with NFL games
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 1, 2016 1:13 AM CDT

(Newser) – Donald Trump is deeply unhappy about this fall's presidential debate schedule—and apparently a little confused about who created it. Two of the three debates clash with NFL games, and Trump tweeted Friday that Hillary Clinton and the Democrats were "trying to rig the debates," though the debates were scheduled by the non-partisan commission that has been organizing presidential debates since 1988, McClatchy reports. The schedule, which also includes one vice presidential debate, was set in September last year, long before the NFL released this season's schedule. The Commission on Presidential Debates, which consulted with officials in both parties before creating the schedule, says it's impossible to avoid all sporting events and it stands by the schedule, the New York Times reports.

In an interview with ABC's This Week, Trump accused Clinton of rigging the debate schedule to minimize the audience. "I'll tell you what I don't like. It's against two NFL games," he said. "I got a letter from the NFL saying, 'This is ridiculous.'" An NFL spokesman said they would prefer a different debate schedule but that there was no letter to Trump. "Mr. Trump was made aware of the conflicting dates by a source close to the league," a Trump aide tells CNN. "It's unfortunate that millions of voters will be disenfranchised by these dates." The Republican National Committee has also complained about the debate schedule, which can be seen here. The presidential debates will be on Monday, Sept. 26; Sunday, Oct. 9; and Wednesday, Oct. 19; the VP debate is set for Tuesday, Oct. 4. (Read more Donald Trump stories.)

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