1 of 2 | The set for the first presidential debate is ready at the campus of Hofstra University on Long Island, N.Y. Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who was barred from participating in the debate due to her low polling numbers, was escorted off the premises on Monday after she tried entering the venue to participate in news media interviews. Photo by Pat Benic/UPI | License Photo
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y., Sept. 26 (UPI) -- Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein was escorted off the premises of Hofstra University on Monday afternoon, hours before the start of the first debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Stein, who was ineligible to participate in the event because she did not meet the Commission on Presidential Debates' 15 percent polling threshold, boarded a shuttle bus meant for news media as it headed to the New York venue.
A reporter for USA Today spotted Stein and her press secretary and reported her presence on Twitter. Apparently, Hofstra University security and Nassau County police saw the tweet and removed Stein and the aide because they were not credentialed media or invited members of the audience.
Stein spokeswoman Melezia Figueroa said the candidate was headed to the venue to participate in media interviews, which she was doing when law enforcement and campus security located her and told her to leave. Figueroa said Stein complied with police orders and left the area.
"We were there under legitimate pretenses," Figueroa told USA Today.
Figueroa said the campaign planned to bus in supporters to stage a protest to grant her admission into Monday night's debate, though she acknowledged it was unlikely to work.
Stein said she planned to join her supporters at the protest and live-stream her response to the debate on social media.
Monday's trip to Hofstra wasn't Stein's first. In 2012, again the Green Party nominee, she was arrested after entering the debate venue -- which was also at Hofstra -- and handcuffing herself to a chair in protest.