Join Us for the Debate

Good evening, and welcome to what might be the most important night of the presidential campaign.

In a few hours, President Biden and former President Donald Trump will take the stage in Atlanta for their first presidential debate of 2024. It’s a rare moment when the unexpected could happen — when a stable race could be jolted — and I, for one, won’t be able to take my eyes off it. Join us to watch it live at nytimes.com.

Starting at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time, I’ll be hosting a live chat with colleagues including Maggie Haberman, Jonathan Swan, Lisa Lerer, Reid Epstein, Zolan Kanno-Youngs, Shane Goldmacher, Maya King, Adam Nagourney, Michael Grynbaum, Peter Baker and Alan Rappeport. We’ll help you navigate every twist and turn.

After the debate, I’ll be back with a special edition of On Politics, sharing my thoughts about what happened and guiding you through our coverage.

Tonight, we’ll have a team of 29 people (29!) checking facts and holding both candidates to account if and when they bend the facts. Susanna Timmons, from our Trust team, explained how it will work.

Linda Qiu, our fact-checking point person, will be leading a team that will sift through the rhetoric to reveal what’s true, what’s false and what’s in need of context.

“There’s a difference between ‘exaggerated’ and ‘misleading’ and ‘needs context,’ and we want to make that clear to readers,” Qiu said. As she sees it, the most “pernicious” kind of statement is a misleading one. It seems to be true, she said, “but it is used in a very distorted, deceptive way.”

We draw on our own reporting and our competitors’ to fact-check a claim. But mostly, we take readers to the sources of our reporting — the data, studies and other research that we have relied on.

We approach the events that we fact-check — including debates, rallies and State of the Union addresses — with impartiality, evaluating claims from all candidates and all points on the political spectrum.

Trump and Biden are both worthy of fact-checking by virtue of their standing. But Trump’s long history of false and misleading claims has led us to produce more fact-checks on him than on any other candidate. We have even reported on the technique to his dishonesty.

There’s a role for readers here, too. You can email us to suggest a claim to fact-check. Propose one at factcheck@nytimes.com.

Susanna Timmons

Read more about our fact-checking here.

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