As the nation gears up to watch the first presidential debate, many are wondering who the moderator, Lester Holt, truly is. Here are 5 quick facts about him.
1. Lester Holt has had a rather impressive career. His resume boasts many major television network shows such as Dateline NBC, Today, and NBC Nightly News. Holt is currently an anchor on NBC Nightly News. This means that Holt is no stranger to high stakes television.
2. Holt can even be considered a celebrity in his own right, as he is the most watched daily news broadcaster in the country.
3. Although he has been criticized by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for supposedly being a Democrat as Mr. Trump complained about the “unfair system,” Holt is actually a registered Republican.
4. The three debate topics that have been announced — “America’s direction,” “achieving prosperity” and “securing America” — won’t be difficult for Mr. Holt. In fact, he has already interviewed each of the candidates and has experience putting the pressure on to get answers to the tough questions.
According to BBC, earlier this year, Holt asked Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton,
“Secretary Clinton, you famously handed Russia’s foreign minister a reset button in 2009. Since then, Russia has annexed Crimea, fomented a war in Ukraine, provided weapons that downed an airliner and launched operations, as we just did discuss, to support Assad in Syria. As president, would you hand Vladimir Putin a reset button?”
5. Holt also has a history of fact checking. While many have been critical of what a moderator’s role is in respect to fact checking candidates, Holt has consistently demonstrated that he will likely not be lax.
As the Guardian reports,
“Anyone who doubts Holt’s ability to fact-check Trump should watch the exchange, in which he reduces Trump to the lame assurance, ‘I will report back to you.'”