LONG ISLAND, N.Y., Sept. 26 (UPI) -- Sparks flew when Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump met Monday in the first general election debate of the 2016 presidential campaign. With the candidates polling close to a dead heat, here's what you need to know:
WHEN: It began at 9 p.m. EDT and was scheduled to last 90 minutes but ran over by several minutes.
WHERE: Hofstra University, a private university on Long Island.
HOW TO WATCH: The full debate is available to watch in the video embedded above.
MODERATOR: NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt.
Holt was chosen by the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates to host the first debate. Trump has attacked him -- and the other debate moderators -- as biased, telling Fox News host Bill O'Reilly "Lester is a Democrat. I mean, they are all Democrats. Okay? It's a very unfair system."
Truth is, Lester is not a Democrat. He's been a registered Republican since 2003, according to New York state voter records.
Trump called @LesterHoltNBC a Democrat. Not so. NYState voter form shows Holt, moderator of Monday's debate, is a registered Republican pic.twitter.com/XzoVYU9es8— David Folkenflik (@davidfolkenflik) September 20, 2016Advertisement
Trump said later that he thinks Holt will be "very fair."
DEBATE ISSUES & FORMAT: The topics "America's Direction," "Achieving Prosperity" and "Securing America" were covered in a scheduled six 15-minute segments. Each candidate started the topic discussion with a two-minute speech, after which they debated back and forth on the topic – frequently straying and running over the scheduled time.
FACT-CHECKING: Much has been said about the torrent of falsehoods in the 2016 presidential campaign, and whether debate moderators should correct candidates when they are wrong or misleading. None of the major networks plan to do on-screen fact-checking and it's up to the debate moderators as to how they will handle it. PolitiFact, a highly touted impartial fact-checker, has said it will have 18 fact-checkers working to correct falsehoods, posting to its Twitter feed.