From The Associated Press:
NEW YORK (AP) — Everyone’s aware of the stakes for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump during the first presidential debate, but there’s a third person in the equation who faces a different pressure: Lester Holt.
The NBC News veteran is moderating his first general election debate, making him solely responsible for the questions asked each candidate and for steering the conversation. His performance will be closely watched, particularly in light of a dispute over the extent to which he should call politicians out for making untrue statements.
Holt, 57, has kept quiet about his preparations. The NBC “Nightly News” anchor took over his job last year after predecessor Brian Williams was found to have lied about his role in news stories.
Like the moderators for all three presidential debates this fall, it’s Holt’s first time in that role for a general election debate. He hosted a Democratic primary forum in January, and has interviewed Clinton and Trump three times each during the campaign.
In a reflection of the attention that will be paid to Holt, his voter registration became an issue last week.
“Lester is a Democrat,” Trump said in a Fox News Channel interview. “It’s a phony system. They are all Democrats.”
Holt, however, is a registered Republican, according to New York state voting records.
Asked about the misstatement on Monday, Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said on MSNBC that it wasn’t a lie because Trump didn’t know Holt’s voter registration.
Voting records show that Anderson Cooper of CNN, who is moderating the Oct. 5 debate, is registered unaffiliated with a party in New York and …