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2016 Presidential Debates
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Behind the Scenes of the First Presidential Debate

Photographer Mark Peterson takes us behind the scenes at Hofstra University to capture the political drama of a presidential debate.

Rev. Jesse Jackson is interviewed ahead of the debate at Hofstra University. Mark Peterson / Redux for NBC
Mark Cuban talks to a crowd of reporters. Mark Peterson / Redux for NBC
Rudy Giuliani is seen ahead of the first presidential debate at Hofstra.

Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence and Gov. of New Jersey Chris Christie meet before the event.

Mark Peterson / Redux for NBC
A sign outside of Hofstra University is reflected in a TV camera lens. Mark Peterson / Redux for NBC
A camera takes position and the stage is readied for the main event.
A reporter wears a wire ahead of the first presidential debate. Mark Peterson / Redux for NBC
Moderator Lester Holt is seen at NBC's presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. on Sept. 26, 2016. Mark Peterson / Redux for NBC
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton arrive on stage for the first presidential debate. Mark Peterson / Redux for NBC

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton answer questions from NBC Nightly News anchor and moderator Lester Holt.

Mark Peterson / Redux for NBC
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks at the first presidential debate.
The spin room after the debate.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump answers questions from the media after the debate.