An NFL spokesperson Saturday denied that the league had contacted Donald Trump to complain about the schedule for the upcoming presidential-election debates between Trump and Hillary Clinton. The statement contradicted Trump’s assertion that he had received a letter from the NFL bemoaning the fact that the debate dates overlap with scheduled games.
“While we’d obviously wish the Debate Commission could find another night, we did not send a letter to Mr Trump,” NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy tweeted Saturday in response to Politico’s Alex Weprin and the Associated Press’ Mike Sisak.
Trump complained on Twitter Saturday about the debate schedule, writing, “As usual, Hillary & the Dems are trying to rig the debates so 2 are up against major NFL games. Same as last time w/ Bernie. Unacceptable!”
In footage from an ABC interview scheduled to be broadcast Sunday, Trump again voiced the complaint, saying that the NFL shared his agitation. “I’ll tell you what I don’t like. It’s against two NFL games. I got a letter from the NFL saying, ‘This is ridiculous. Why are the debates against?’ ‘Cause the NFL doesn’t wanna go against the debates. ‘Cause the debates are gonna be pretty massive, from what I understand, okay? And I don’t think we should be against the NFL. I don’t know how the dates were picked.”
Three presidential debates are scheduled between Trump, the Republican nominee, and Clinton, the Democratic nominee — Sept. 26, Oct. 9 and Oct. 19. The first two debates would conflict with the NFL schedule.