Donald Trump’s campaign manager says her boss’ comment that presidential debate moderator Lester Holt is a Democrat isn’t a lie, because the candidate didn’t know Holt’s voter registration.

Lester Holt will moderate Monday night's debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Andy Kropa/Invision via AP

Lester Holt will moderate Monday night’s debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Andy Kropa/Invision via AP

The Republican nominee tried to discredit Holt when he told Fox’s Bill O’Reilly last week that “Lester is a Democrat. It’s a phony system. They are all Democrats.”

Holt is the anchor of NBC Nightly News and is registered as a Republican in New York.

Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway was asked about why Trump would make a definitive statement about something he didn’t know on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

She said, “He didn’t lie. A lie would mean he knew the man’s party affiliation.”

Campaigns disagree on whether moderator should ‘fact check’

The two presidential campaigns disagree on whether moderators should fact-check the candidates’ comments during debates.

Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, says debate moderators should correct any false statements by Trump so Clinton can use her time discussing her plans instead of correcting her rival. But Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, says fact-checking Trump is tantamount to helping Clinton.

Mook told NBC’s “Today” show on Monday that the media need to hold Trump accountable and not use low expectations to judge his performance. “We don’t want Donald Trump’s lies, distortions to be a distraction,” he said.

Conway told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” the Clinton campaign is trying to “game the ref” – a reference to debate moderators – by pushing them to correct Trump’s statements.

Clinton campaign chief says she’ll try to focus on issues

Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager says Clinton’s priority at Monday’s debate is explaining her policies to the American public.

Robby Mook tells NBC’s “Today” show that Clinton knows she needs to earn voters’ trust. He said: “We want this to be about the issues. We want both candidates to explain their plans to the American people.”

Mook said his primary concern is that Trump will get “the most improved award,” but Clinton will get judged on “the fine points of policy.”

He added: “Donald Trump is an experienced reality show entertainer so he may decide this is a chance to show his chops.”

He said the campaign wants Clinton “to have as much time as possible to talk about how she’s going to make a difference.”

Trump’s ‘natural connective tissue’ will be on display, campaign manager says

Donald Trump’s campaign manager says she’s confident he’ll do well in his debate with Hillary Clinton, saying the “natural connective tissue he has with people” will be on display.

Kellyanne Conway also says she expects Trump to say more about his plan to defeat the Islamic State group. She says “he’ll be happy to offer specifics without telling the enemy what we’re going to do.”

Speaking Monday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe, Conway said “people are just amazed” that Clinton outlined her strategy against IS on her website.

Asked about Trump’s preparations for the primetime television faceoff, Conway says he’s studied the issues and “I can see that this man is ready for tonight.”

Debate audience expected to be record breaking

Interest in the presidential race has been intense, and the campaigns are expecting a record-breaking audience to watch the 90-minute televised debate at New York’s Hofstra University.

The high-stakes Monday night showdown is the first of three presidential debates. It comes as both candidates are viewed negatively by large numbers of Americans, with Democrat Clinton facing questions about her trustworthiness and Republican Trump struggling to convince many voters that he has the temperament and policy depth to be president.