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Presidential Debate Commission co-chair Frank Fahrenkopf Jr. said Sunday he doesn't expect Fox News anchor Chris Wallace or any of the other moderators to fact-check President Trump or former Vice President Joe Biden at the debates.

What he's saying: "There's a vast difference between being a moderator in a debate and being a reporter who is interviewing someone," Fahrenkopf said on CNN's "Reliable Sources."

  • Fahrenkopf said it's the role of a reporter conducting an interview to fact-check their subject. "But that's not the case in a debate. ... It's the role of the other person in a debate to be the one to raise that ... rather than the moderator."
  • "The minute the TV is off, there are going to be plenty of fact-checkers at every newspaper and every television station in the world. That's not the main role of our moderators," he continued.
  • "The commission's function is to put on television, before the people of the United States, the two candidates. They will act as they are going to act, we have no control over that, and then it's for them to make a judgment based on what they've seen."

Worth noting: Fahrenkopf dismissed the idea of the commission drug-testing either of the candidates, which President Trump said on Twitter he would be "strongly demanding."

What to watch: The debate will air 9pm to 10:30pm ET. Topics will include Trump and Biden's records, the Supreme Court, COVID-19, economic policy, racism and the integrity of the election.

Go deeper

Updated Dec 7, 2020 - Politics & Policy

The top Republicans who have acknowledged Biden as president-elect

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Some elected Republicans are breaking ranks with President Trump to acknowledge that President-elect Biden won the 2020 presidential election.

Why it matters: The relative sparsity of acknowledgements highlights Trump's lasting power in the GOP, as his campaign moves to file multiple lawsuits alleging voter fraud in key swing states — despite the fact that there have been no credible allegations of any widespread fraud anywhere in the U.S.

World leaders react to "new dawn in America" under Biden administration

President Biden reacts delivers his inaugural address on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

World leaders have pledged to work with President Biden on issues including the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, with many praising his move to begin the formal process for the U.S. to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement.

The big picture: Several leaders noted the swift shift from former President Trump's "America First" policy to Biden's action to re-engage with the world and rebuild alliances.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: The Biden and Harris inauguration

President Biden and first lady Jill Biden watch a fireworks show on the National Mall from the Truman Balcony at the White House on Wednesday night. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Biden signed his first executive orders into law from the Oval Office on Wednesday evening after walking in a brief inaugural parade to the White House with first lady Jill Biden and members of their family. He was inaugurated with Vice President Kamala Harris at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday morning.

Why it matters: Many of Biden's day one actions immediately reverse key Trump administration policies, including rejoining the Paris Agreement and the World Health Organization, launching a racial equity initiative and reversing the Muslim travel ban.