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Anticipating debate, Trump says he thinks system rigged

A week before the first presidential debate, Donald Trump is putting moderators on notice that he'll be watching to see if they get too rough on him.

In a series of interviews over the past week, the Republican nominee has asserted that "the system is being rigged" against him. The first of three scheduled debates between Trump and Hillary Clinton will be held on Sept. 26, with NBC's Lester Holt as the journalist questioning the candidates.

"I think it's terrible," Trump told Fox News Channel over the weekend. "They want the host to go after Trump."

His statement is based on criticism NBC's Matt Lauer received in some circles for being too easy on the Republican in a forum on national security earlier this month. Trump, who called Lauer "very professional," told CNBC that he believes this puts pressure on other moderators to avoid Lauer's fate by going after him.

Sports fans know the phenomenon as "working the refs."

"Trump's buddy, the old basketball coach Bobby Knight, used to do this all the time," said CBS News veteran Bob Schieffer, who moderated a 2012 debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. "He'd throw fits at the referee in the first (10 minutes) and try to make them feel guilty so they'll give him a break in the (last 10 minutes). That's all that this is."

In fact, Trump has twice referenced Knight in recent comments — saying it was his opponents using the former Indiana coach's tactics.

Schieffer's advice to this year's moderators is to "laugh it off." He believes they are skilled and experienced enough to do that.

"Every moderator is going to get hammered by somebody," he said. "That's just life in the National Football League. This is a big-time deal."

Trump's tactics could backfire with the public, said Alan Schroeder, author of "Presidential Debates: 50 Years of High-Risk TV."

"To me, it feels like whining," said Schroeder, a journalism professor at Northeastern University. "These people are running to be president of the United States. They have to deal with a lot of pressure and they have to deal with a lot of circumstances beyond their control ... It doesn't seem very presidential."

Moderators should avoid reading and participating in stories about the debates, Schroeder said. He believes they should go further and step away from day-to-day coverage of the campaign, which all of the moderators are involved in to some extent. After Holt, there's a town hall-style debate moderated by CNN's Anderson Cooper and ABC's Martha Raddatz, and a final debate led by Chris Wallace of Fox News.

Trump's opponents have applied pressure, too. David Brock, a Clinton ally and founder of the Media Matters watchdog group, called on the presidential debate commission to drop Wallace because his former boss at Fox, Roger Ailes, is said to be advising Trump. The commission rejected Brock's request.

Trump last week had singled Cooper out for criticism, in an interview with The Washington Post. Trump has repeatedly tweeted criticism of CNN in general over the last few months.

"He'll be very biased, very biased," Trump said. "I don't think he should be a moderator. I'll participate, but I don't think he should be a moderator. CNN is the Clinton News Network, and Anderson Cooper, I don't think he can be fair."

Cooper and CNN declined comment.

Robert Durst's lawyer: Indiana prison doesn't make sense

It doesn't make sense to send real estate heir Robert Durst to prison in Indiana, where he's been assigned, when he faces a murder trial in Los Angeles, Durst's attorney said Monday.

"Our legal team is doing what they can to find out the why of it and find out if anything can be done" to get Durst sent to the federal prison closest to Los Angeles, Richard DeGuerin (duh-GEHR-in) said Monday.

But he said he doesn't know if there's any way to change the decision to send Durst to Terre Haute to serve his sentence of seven years and a month on a weapons charge.

"The Bureau of Prisons is an agency all of its own. Even a federal district judge can't tell them what to do," DeGuerin said. "There's no process of appeal."

DeGuerin said the assignment may have been made because the Terre Haute prison has one of two "level 3" medical facilities in the federal system. The other is in North Carolina at a prison for sexual offenders.

He said Durst had spinal fusion surgery in mid-July

"They figure he needs a higher level of medical care than we think he needs," he said.

Durst is accused in California of killing his friend Susan Berman in 2000 to keep her from talking to prosecutors about the disappearance of Durst's first wife, Kathleen Durst, in 1982.

"We've been saying from the date of his arrest in April of last year that he didn't kill Susan Berman, doesn't know who did and he wants his day in court and wants to prove that he didn't. And the only place that can be done is in California," DeGuerin said.

When U.S. District Judge Kurt Engelhardt sentenced Durst in New Orleans, he recommended that Durst serve his time at FCI Terminal Island, California, about 30 miles from downtown Los Angeles. The location is near the trial venue and has medical facilities Durst needs because of his "advanced age and serious health considerations, including mobility challenges," defense lawyers wrote in their request.

DeGuerin said Monday that Durst "does have serious medical complications, but they're under control."

He says Durst is a 72-year-old cancer survivor, has had brain surgery for hydrocephalus, and has had two operations to fuse neck vertebrae, the most recent in mid-July.

"He's recovering from his surgery. Doctors have treated him. They say he's OK to travel to California," he said.

Kiefer Sutherland rises to power as 'Designated Survivor'

Wherever she was, Natascha McElhone's ears must have been burning thanks to Kiefer Sutherland, who stars as her devoted husband and the inadvertent president of the United States in ABC's much-anticipated new thriller "Designated Survivor."

"Aside from the way she can light up a room," said Sutherland, singing her praises, "Natasha's one of the freest actors I've ever worked with. That kind of freedom allowed me to relax a bit and put more of myself into my character."

Sutherland, who spent a decade as action hero Jack Bauer in Fox's "24," is primed to show viewers a new side of himself as Tom Kirkman, a low-level cabinet member (and political independent) suddenly drafted as the nation's chief executive after an attack on the U.S. Capitol kills the incumbent president and wipes out Congress during the State of the Union address. "Designated Survivor" premieres Wednesday at 10 p.m. EDT.

"My character," said Sutherland in his husky purr, "was an architect with an idea for low-income housing who became a member of the cabinet. He was never elected to anything. He wears a tweed jacket!"

Thrust into the Oval Office, Kirkman must resurrect a shattered government while marshaling the campaign to find its attackers. Meanwhile, he must protect what's most important to him: his wife and their two kids.

"The show covers such a wide landscape," said Sutherland. "How does he get the country back on its feet? Who did the bombing, and what is the appropriate response? And what happens to a family that inherits the White House overnight? My character will get to navigate all of those things."

But not without support from his wife, Alex, played by McElhone (whose credits include the feature "Ronin" and Showtime's comedy "Californication").

"Initially, Alex is more tough than he is," said Sutherland. "She's an attorney, aggressive, and much more of a political animal.

"She is the center of his universe. Then he becomes president overnight, and by accepting it, he puts the one thing that matters most to him — his marriage — in jeopardy out of his sense of patriotism and duty."

Granted, this unsought mandate bears a save-the-world likeness to that of Jack Bauer. Yet Kirkman is anything but a lone wolf, and, also unlike Bauer, there's no rock-'em-sock-'em to his style.

"I always enjoyed the physicality of '24,'" said Sutherland, who for this interview was clad in jeans and T-shirt — no tweed! — that seemed to favor Bauer's fashion sense. "But, like Kirkman, I'm a much better talker than I am a fighter, so I feel more at home with this guy."

As he spoke, Sutherland was several episodes deep into production of the series, which, despite being shot in Toronto, clearly keeps him in a D.C. state of mind.

He gets help with that from cast-mate Kal Penn, who plays a presidential speechwriter but, while on a break from his acting career a few years ago, served in the real-life White House of Barack Obama.

"With that perspective, to have him on our show is invaluable," said Sutherland. "You can ask, 'When the president's walking down the hall, can you say "hi" to him?' And Kal says, 'Yeah, you can, I guess. But you DON'T.'

"Just as an ordinary person, I'm so excited to hear those details!"

But Sutherland is not an ordinary person, of course. He's the leader of the free world, or at least pretending at a job he experiences as "mind-numbingly complicated — and WE'RE only making (stuff) up!"

President Kirkman hasn't been his only performance of late. In the early weeks of shooting "Designated Survivor," Sutherland was also shooting a sci-fi feature "Flatliners" alongside Ellen Page and James Norton.

Meanwhile, he's been touring in support of his debut country album, "Down in a Hole."

"The truth is, I really like what I do," he said when asked about this jam-packed schedule. "When '24' ended (in 2010) I didn't know what to do. ... I had a real hard time. So I learned something about myself."

In 2012, he starred in the spiritually based Fox drama "Touch," an ambitious misfire that lasted just two seasons.

Now he's back in a new series that handicappers are forecasting as a surefire hit.

"My response to that is, 'We'll see,'" said Sutherland. "One of the great benefits of having done this for 30 years is you approach everything with cautious optimism. You can survive with that.

"But all of the components of this show feel right to me." He smiled. "We'll see."


This story corrects an erroneous reference to Sutherland's character, Tom Kirkman, as Kirkland.


EDITOR'S NOTE — Frazier Moore is a national television columnist for The Associated Press. He can be reached at and at Past stories are available at



Partial list of winners of the Primetime Emmy Awards

1. Supporting Actor, Comedy Series: Louie Anderson, "Baskets."

2. Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series: Alan Yang and Aziz Ansari, "Master of None."

3. Supporting Actress, Comedy Series: Kate McKinnon, "Saturday Night Live."

4. Directing, Comedy Series: Jill Soloway, "Transparent."

5. Actress, Comedy Series: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, "Veep."

Kimmel blames producer Mark Burnett for Trump

Presidential politics wasn't far from mind at the Emmy Awards.

Former GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush had a cameo on host Jimmy Kimmel's opening comedy segment and Kimmel referenced Republican nominee Donald Trump in his monologue, pointing out the man in the audience who made him a television star. Later, "Veep" Emmy winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus "apologized" for the current political climate.

"Thanks to Mark Burnett, we don't have to watch reality shows anymore, because we're living them," Kimmel said. Burnett cast Trump in "The Apprentice," the hit series that gave him a catchphrase ("you're fired") and a larger public profile.

"If it wasn't for television, would Donald Trump be running for president?" Kimmel asked.

Bush portrayed the limo driver for Louis-Dreyfus. "Did you know you can make $12 an hour driving for Uber?" he asked Kimmel.

Bush asked Kimmel if he was a nominee, and when Kimmel said yes, Bush said, "Wow, what's that like?"

He told Kimmel that if he ran a positive campaign, the voters will ultimately make the right choice. "That was a joke," he quickly added.

Louis-Dreyfus, accepting her fifth consecutive Emmy as best actress in a comedy for her lead role in the HBO comedy, said "Veep" has "torn down the wall between comedy and politics.

"Our show started out as political satire," she said, "but now it feels like a sober documentary."

She promised to "rebuild that wall and make Mexico pay for it."

For her part, Kate McKinnon thanked Hillary Clinton when she accepted her best supporting actress in a comedy series award for her work on "Saturday Night Live."

A mixed red carpet in colors and cut for the Emmys

"She was dressing for two and got the proportions just right," said Rickie De Sole, fashion market director for W magazine.

"It was sexy but not overtly sexy. That's why she's so successful on the red carpet. It was unexpected and fun," De Sole added.

Also earning raves: Sarah Paulson in an emerald green, low-cut encrusted Prada gown as she walked the carpet with Marcia Clark, the prosecutor she played on FX's "People vs. O.J. Simpson.

"It felt very unexpected, very red carpet but modern in its silhouette," Do Sole said.

Kristen Bell went with a low-cut champagne-colored chiffon ballgown with just enough sparkle running through its floral print at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles.

Tori Kelly touted Old Hollywood waves, feeling fall in a black-as-night strapless velvet mermaid gown for TV's biggest night.

Bell's crystal-flecked gown from Zuhair Murad matched her wheat-colored locks, worn loose and wavy. Pryanka Chopra, meanwhile, smoothed her dark locks back and went for red from Jason Wu with side cutouts, twirling her princess skirt wearing a lip shade that perfectly matched the gown.

"I loved the fit, the one shoulder and the way it cinched her waist," Beverly Hills fashion stylist Joseph Katz said of Chopra's princess moment. "It just popped on the red carpet. And the twirl. That's what it's all about, showing the flow and movement. She nailed it."

Ariel Winter sparkled in silver that hugged her curves and Sarah Hyland wore bold, black cigarette pants with a white embroidered floral strapless top. It had a split back and two long sections as a train, from Monique Lhuillier.

Kelly, with her sweetheart neckline, was on trend with her velvet look, after several designers rolled out velvet at New York Fashion Week. So was Kathryn Hahn in emerald green velvet with a deep V-neck and metallic lace detailing.

"I chose it because I just love, like, no bra, just kind of after two children, just a saggy boob in the heat," Hahn joked. "That's what kind of sold it for me. I thought it had a bit of a Scarlett O'Hara, whipped-it-up-with-the-curtains kind of feel."

Kelly's designer was Paule Ka. Hahn wore Wai Ming. Both kept their jewelry to a minimum, with Kelly in elegant drop diamond earrings. Hahn's look crossed at the back, lending some pizzazz.

Hyland's gown sported an icicle motif and celebrated her curves as she spoke about the importance of body positivity.

"Everybody's bodies are beautiful," she said.

Ellie Kemper, meanwhile, celebrated in a bright, citrus yellow Jenny Packham that cinched at the waist, just a few weeks after having a baby. Her hair was smooth as silk and swept to the side as she smiled for photographers. Her jewels were from Neil Lane, including dainty diamond and gold drop earrings.

"It's life changing," Kemper told E! of the birth of her son in early August.

Angela Bassett stood out in lemon yellow with cape sleeves and a full train. Another standout: Shiri Appleby in an optimistic sky blue sparkler.

Not all the fashionistas were full grown. Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo and Caleb McLaughlin, the bite-size kid trio from "Stranger Things," had a ball at the Microsoft Theater, soaking up their red carpet moment together in fancy duds.

Wearing green ruffles with her black eyeglasses was the little star from "Blackish," Marsai Martin.

Tracee Ellis Ross was in the white-dress camp, flinging a train around the carpet in a one-shoulder cream silk gown from the Ralph Lauren Collection. It wasn't the best fit, sagging at a crucial cutout at the waist, but she wore a killer pair of huge diamond earrings that helped deflect the problem.

In standout white was Anika Noni Rose, a Tadashi Shoji chiffon Grecian gown with just enough embellishment at the neck. The waist pulled in, lending even more dramatic fullness to the skirt.

The guys had a few moments of their own. Terrence Howard of "Empire" wore a black-and-white check dinner jacket with a patterned bow tie. His lapels were solid black, like his trousers and pocket square. Rami Malek, who stars in "Mr. Robot," went for a white dinner jacket, his big blue eyes lending all the color he needed.

Fred Armisen camped it up in a black tuxedo with Frankenstein bolts on his neck.

In the "we're-not-so-sure department," Gwendoline Christie sported a huge butt bow and more big, busy embellishment at the front. Also Anna Chlumsky from "Veep" in a sacklike look with awkward off-the-shoulder bits and a clunky train.

"That, um, yeah, it wasn't flattering," Katz said of Chlumsky. "The color was pretty. She definitely took a risk."

Politics take center stage at Emmys in variety of ways

Julia Louis-Dreyfus of "Veep" received a record-breaking sixth Emmy Award as best comedy series actress Sunday, using her victory to take a dig at GOP contender Donald Trump in a ceremony loaded with election-year asides.

Jeffrey Tambor captured his second consecutive best comedy actor trophy for "Transparent," in which he plays a transgender character.

He called for Hollywood to make him the last non-transgender actor to get such a role.

A shaking Louis-Dreyfus ended her speech by dedicating the trophy to her father, who she said died Friday. Before that, she honed in on GOP contender Donald Trump's campaign.

"I'd also like to take this opportunity to apologize for the current political climate," she said. "I think that 'Veep' has torn down the wall between comedy and politics. Our show started out as a political satire but it now feels like a sobering documentary."

She promised to "rebuild that wall and make Mexico pay for it."

Her victory gave her six best comedy wins — five for "Veep," one for "The New Adventures of Old Christine" — and broke her tie with Candice Bergen and Mary Tyler Moore.

Louie Anderson was honored as best supporting actor in a comedy series for his portrayal of a loving but tough mom in "Baskets."

"Mom, we did it!," Anderson shouted, hoisting his trophy and dedicating the award to his late mother, Ora Zella Anderson. "I have not always been a good man but I play one hell of a woman."

"Saturday Night Live" cast member Kate McKinnon won the trophy for best supporting actress in a comedy for, officially, playing various characters. But she knew who to credit.

"Thank you, Ellen DeGeneres, thank you, Hillary Clinton," she said, naming two of the famous people she's caricatured on the show.

The ceremony started out with an political edge. In a video bit, Jimmy Kimmel was shown trying to get to the ceremony and encountering former GOP presidential contender Jeb Bush as a limo driver.

"Did you know you could make $12 an hour working for Uber?" a game Bush said, smiling. He advised Kimmel that "if you run a positive campaign, the voters will ultimately make the right choice"— then told Kimmel curtly it was a joke.

On the red carpet, Judith Light was being fully transparent when she told bleacher fans how difficult it is to walk a red carpet in heels.

"I can't walk, but thanks," the actress, nominated for her role in a comedy series for Amazon's "Transparent," said as she responded to shouts and cheers from fans in the red-carpet bleachers.

Jeffrey Tambor, who plays her transgender ex-spouse and is vying to repeat as best comedy actor, shared serious words about the series.

It's "changing the landscape of television. I think it's changing the landscape, period," he said.

If the stars looked especially hot this year, the mercury was involved: Temperatures were in the 90s. Fans who waited hours for celebrities to arrive had the worst of it, with one women requiring treatment by paramedics.

For this year's awards, Golden Globe-winning "Mr. Robot," a conspiracy thriller about a troubled hacker, is vying for the top drama series award and best actor honors for star Rami Malek.

Biting political satire "Veep" is seeking its second consecutive best comedy series award, and bleak political drama "House of Cards" is looking for its first major win, as are its stars, Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright.

A sitcom that has aggressively taken on issues including use of the "N-word" and police brutality, "black-ish" is up against "Veep" for top comedy honors in a field that also includes "Master of None," ''Modern Family," ''Silicon Valley," ''Transparent" and "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt."



Lawyer: Robert Durst assigned to medical prison in Indiana

Real estate heir Robert Durst has been assigned to an Indiana prison which has a medical unit, rather than the California prison requested because he faces a murder trial in Los Angeles, attorney Dick DeGuerin said Sunday.

Durst, 72, has been in the St. Charles Parish jail, which is about 25 miles (40 kilometers) from New Orleans and has a contract to hold federal prisoners, since April 2015.

DeGuerin said Sunday that the Bureau of Prisons has assigned Durst to the federal prison in Terre Haute.

"We do not know when he will be moved, but we will find out more on Monday," DeGuerin said in an email to The Associated Press.

He said Durst's legal team learned about the assignment late Friday — too late to ask the Bureau of Prisons for details.

"He will be moved from Terre Haute and federal custody to State of California custody to stand trial, but there's no date set yet for such moves or for trial," DeGuerin wrote.

Durst is serving seven years and one month after pleading guilty in New Orleans to a federal weapons charge.

He's charged in California with killing his friend Susan Berman in 2000 to keep her from talking to New York prosecutors about the disappearance of his first wife in 1982. In April, Kathleen Durst's family asked a judge in New York to declare her legally dead — a step needed to file a wrongful death suit against Durst.

Durst was detained the night before HBO broadcast the finale of a documentary about him, the two women, and the death of a neighbor in Galveston, Texas. He was arrested early the morning of the broadcast.

He was charged in New Orleans with illegally carrying a .38-caliber revolver after being convicted of a felony. Judge Kurt Engelhardt said a presentence report recommended 12 to 18 months under federal guidelines. However, he said, the longer sentence was reasonable because the plea deal included agreements with U.S. attorneys in Houston and Manhattan and the Orleans Parish district attorney not to prosecute Durst on a variety of offenses which could have carried sentences longer than 85 months.

When Durst was sentenced on the weapons charge in April, he told the judge, "I have been waiting to get to California about a year so I can state my not guilty plea. I truly, truly want to express my statement that I am not guilty in the death of Susan Berman."

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