Commission defends debate schedule
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The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) on Sunday responded to Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpUPS, FedEx shut down calls to handle mail-in ballots, warn of 'significant' problems: report Controversial GOP Georgia candidate attempts to distance from QAnon Trump orders TikTok parent company to sell US assets within 90 days MORE’s complaint about the scheduling of two of the debates between him and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonMcGrath reshuffles campaign in home stretch to Senate election Appeals court blocks Hillary Clinton deposition on private email server What Biden must do to keep his lead and win MORE.


Trump, the Republican nominee, on Friday accused Clinton of rigging the debates so that two coincide with NFL games.

In a statement on Sunday, the CPD noted that it had begun working on the debate schedule over a year ago and said that debates had overlapped with NFL games before.

“The Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) started working more than 18 months ago to identify religious and federal holidays, baseball league playoff games, NFL games, and other events in order to select the best nights for the 2016 debates,” the statement reads. 

“It is impossible to avoid all sporting events, and there have been nights on which debates and games occurred in most election cycles.  A debate has never been rescheduled as a result.”

Trump took to Twitter on Friday, calling the debate schedule “unacceptable.”

“As usual, Hillary & the Dems are trying to rig the debates so 2 are up against major NFL games,” he wrote. “Same as last time w/ Bernie. Unacceptable!”

The CPD pushed back against the accusation, saying it selected the dates with plenty of notice.

“The CPD selects the debate dates a year in advance in order for the television networks to have maximum lead time and predictability in scheduling these extremely important civic education forums,” the statement said. “The CPD believes the dates for the 2016 debates will serve the American public well.”