Republican candidate Donald Trump said he is unhappy with the dates set for this fall's presidential debates, but White House rival Hillary Clinton countered that the schedule was decided long ago and vowed to show up regardless of his objections.
The nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates has scheduled three televised debates ahead of the Nov. 8 election - Monday, Sept. 26, Sunday, Oct. 9, and Wednesday, Oct. 19. The dates were set almost a year ago.
Trump and other Republicans said they should be changed because of conflicts with National Football League games.
"I think two of the three are against the NFL, so I'm not thrilled with that," the Republican presidential nominee said in an interview with ABC's "This Week" that aired on Sunday.
Speaking to reporters while campaigning at a cheese barn in Ashland, Ohio, Clinton noted that the debate schedule had been established long before the two major political parties chose their nominees.
"I'm going to be there. That's all I'll say," Clinton said just days after the end of the Democratic National Convention, where the former secretary of state accepted her party's presidential nomination.
In a statement, the commission said the chosen dates "will serve the American public well," adding that it was impossible to avoid all sporting events when working out the schedule. It said the debates had never been rescheduled for such conflicts.
Trump, who tweeted on Friday that Clinton was "trying to rig the debates" so that fewer people would watch, suggested in the ABC interview that his rival wanted the debates to be held "when nobody's home" to watch.
Newt Gingrich, a Trump adviser and former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, tweeted that the scheduling "makes me think the commission is rigged to help hide Hillary from the voters."