Jill Stein, the Green Party presidential candidate, was escorted by police away from the site of the first debate between Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican Party nominee Donald Trump. The debate, held on September 26 at Hofstra University in New York, was the first time the two major party nominees have debated each other.
On Monday afternoon, Jill Stein was escorted from the site of the Hofstra presidential debate while outside conducting interviews with national media. In between interviews, Stein and her campaign staff were approached by Hofstra security and local police, who escorted them from the debate site. Snopes reports that Stein was credentialed by a number of media outlets, including FOX, MSNBC, and ABC. The press secretary for Jill Stein discussed the incident.
“We were escorted onto campus by Fox under guest credentials, had just finished with Fox and an impromptu interview with CBS, and were walking the short distance between the Fox stage and the MSNBC stage for a 1:40pm interview when we were approached by Hofstra security and Nassau County police. I called the MSNBC producer, who walked over to our location with credentials in hand. We were eventually cleared for the MSNBC interview, which occurred late due to the police intervention, after which we were immediately escorted off of campus and told we could not speak to anyone on the way out. We were escorted to a location where our driver could not pick us up, so we were put into a police van and driven to a nearby hotel. We were stopped by police an additional two times on the way to the hotel. As a result of this intervention, Jill did not make her scheduled afternoon interviews with WABC radio and ABC Digital.”
The Nassau County Police Department told CNN that Stein did not, in fact, have proper credentials.
“She was on the college campus, we asked to verify for proper credentials, she did not have them, and she was nicely escorted off the campus,” a police department spokesperson said.
This was not the first time Jill Stein has had trouble with law enforcement during a presidential debate. As ABC News reported then, Jill Stein and her vice presidential running mate, Cheri Honkala, were arrested in 2012 for protesting outside the Hofstra University presidential debate. Then, as in the situation at Hofstra Monday, Stein and the Green Party maintained that the failure to include third-party candidates in the presidential debate system is fundamentally unfair and undemocratic.
Stein campaign manager Ben Manski spoke about that arrest at the time.
“The arrest was outrageous and shouldn’t be tolerated in a country that is a leading proponent of democracy. They knew that there was the possibility that they would be arrested. Their intention was to enter the premises and bear witness to the mockery of democracy that is tonight’s debate.”