Hillary: Dem debates scheduled 'to drive more viewership'

Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonTrump won't 'save' Social Security, but ruin it Retired general attacks Trump in new Clinton ad Trump: Clinton's Syria policy would lead to 'World War III' MORE was pressed in an interview late Monday about the scheduling of Democratic presidential debates this cycle, which has been roundly criticized by her Democratic rivals.

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow asked Clinton during her show Monday night if her campaign advocated for "a light schedule" putting debates "in TV Siberia — on weekends and holidays."

"Well, Rachel, I really don't have any knowledge of that," Clinton responded in the phone interview.

"I’m not saying that nobody representing me or the other campaigns didn't express an opinion," Clinton said. "But it was my understanding that in looking at the sequencing of these debates, looking at the numbers of people who watched back in '08, there was a decision to try to have a monthly debate once people were beginning to pay attention and try to drive more viewership."

Clinton's rivals, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders warns Clinton: Don't rush to compromise with GOP The Trail 2016: Who is really winning? The evidence backs Trump: We have a duty to doubt election results MORE (I-Vt.) and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, have both criticized Democratic officials for the scheduling of the debates on weekends or before holidays.

The latest debate broadcast Sunday night came on the eve of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and last month's debate was scheduled for the Saturday before Christmas.

"I love the debates," Clinton insisted Monday night, dodging when asked if she wished there were more debates after the host noted Sunday's event was the last one until mid-February.