DNC agrees to sanction more debates

Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Debate, NBC News
NBC News

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) on Sunday said it has agreed to sanction more presidential debates after facing criticism over a limited schedule

“Our Democratic candidates have agreed in principle to having the DNC sanction and manage additional debates in our primary schedule, inclusive of New Hampshire this week,” DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in a statement.

“However, absent agreement on the details, we will give our campaigns the space to focus on the important work of engaging caucus goers in Iowa. We will reconvene negotiations and finalize the schedule with the agreement of our campaigns on Tuesday morning,” she added.

The New Hampshire Union Leader and MSNBC announced last week that they would hold an unsanctioned Democratic debate in the Granite State in early February. The party had warned that any candidate who participates in an unsanctioned debate would be barred from future debates.

A person familiar with the discussions said on Sunday that the DNC will sanction the MSNBC debate for this Thursday in New Hampshire once the Democratic candidates all agree on the details. The Union Leader, however, will not be a sponsor of the debate.

“We have consistently worked with our campaigns to ensure a schedule that is both robust and allows our candidates to engage with voters in a variety of ways, whether through debates, forums, or town halls, while also leaving them the flexibility to attend county fairs and living room conversations for the direct voter contact that matters so much in the early states," Wasserman Schultz said in Sunday's statement. "Those principles will continue to guide these negotiations.”

CNN also announced on Sunday afternoon that the three Democratic presidential candidates -- former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonToomey: 'No reason' Trump supporters shouldn't back me WATCH LIVE: Trump delivers 'first 100 days' speech in Gettysburg Dylan's 'Jokerman' a metaphor for Election 2016 and more MORE, Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersHow a new Clinton presidency will change American politics forever Ex-Arizona governor: Hispanic Dems 'don’t get out and vote' Emails show Clinton camp's plans to work with writers to hit Sanders MORE (I-Vt.) and former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley -- will appear at a town hall in Derry, N.H. on Wednesday evening.

--This report was updated at 3:26 p.m.