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NBC News Commander-in-Chief Forum: how to watch Trump, Clinton online, TV

The pre-presidential debate begins at 8 pm Eastern Wednesday.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
US Presidential Candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
Photos by Alex Wong-L/Justin Sullivan-R/Getty Images

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will sit for live in-depth interviews Wednesday night at a forum hosted by NBC News about national security, the military, and veterans affairs.

The "Commander-in-Chief" event marks the first time this campaign that both Clinton and Trump are appearing at the same event, and it represents one of their best chances to reach the public before the first presidential debate on September 26.

The forum will begin at 8 pm Eastern at the the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City. NBC’s Matt Lauer, host of the Today Show, gets to ask the questions.

How to watch

TV: The event will be simulcast on both NBC and MSNBC.

Streaming: The event will be live-streamed here.

You can also just ignore the visuals and listen to the forum on MSNBC’s radio channel.

What to expect

This could be a good night for Clinton.

The back-and-forth of the debates reward masters in the theater of campaigning. Trump excelled at that during the Republican primaries, in part with put-downs of his rivals and his sense of humor.

The forums are different. The candidates will have to sit for extended interviews that test the range of their expertise, making it much more difficult to provide a punchy one-line answer or turn the tables on their opponents to prove a point.

"A well-prepared moderator can have an easier time pinning down a candidate and following up on the audience’s questions," writes Gary Legum in Salon. "It requires a candidate to move around the stage, maintain eye contact with questioners and show empathy and relatability to members of the audience. This is not exactly Trump’s strong suit."

What’s next after the forum?

The forum will preview an increasingly busy campaign season as the candidates enter the post-Labor Day home stretch of the election.

Here’s a look at what’s to come:

  • Friday, September 23: First states begin early voting
  • Monday, September 26: First presidential debate
  • Tuesday, October 4: Vice presidential debate
  • Sunday, October 9: Second presidential debate
  • Wednesday, October 19: Third presidential debate
  • Tuesday, November 8: Election Day

The bad map we see every presidential election