Fox News learned that President Trump’s campaign has asked the Biden campaign to allow a third party to check the ears of each candidate for electronic devices or transmitters. President Trump has already consented to this search, but the Biden campaign has refused.
The Trump campaign has claimed that Biden’s campaign originally agreed to this stipulation, but later reversed their decision.
“Joe Biden’s handlers several days ago agreed to a pre-debate inspection for electronic earpieces but today abruptly reversed themselves and declined. Biden’s handlers have asked for multiple breaks during the debate, which President Trump doesn’t need, so we have rejected that request. On top of the refusal to take a drug test, it seems pretty obvious that the Biden team is looking for any safety net they can find in the hours leading up to the debate. With his 47 years as a failed Washington politician, how much help does Biden want?” Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh said.
President Trump’s campaign earlier this week offered to submit to a drug test prior to the debate, and challenged Biden to do the same. This request was also denied.
The former vice president’s campaign has reportedly requested two breaks during the debate, which will be a 90 minute commercial-free program. Biden’s campaign asked to have a break every 30 minutes, but the Trump campaign has denied that request.
“Our guy doesn’t need breaks. He gives 90-minute speeches all the time,” a Trump campaign source said.
Fox News reports that Team Biden requested a break every 30 minutes in the debate. Team Trump rejected it.
Team Trump wants inspection for ear pieces.
— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) September 29, 2020
Biden’s deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield called the request by the Trump campaign “absurd”, and also denied the claim that Biden’s campaign had asked for breaks.
“His staff seems concerned that he may not do well tonight and they’re already laying the groundwork for how they’re going to lie about why. It is completely absurd. Of course, he’s not wearing an earpiece and we never asked for breaks,” Bedingfield emphasized.
Speaking with reporters, Bedingfield said, “if we’re playing that game, the Trump team asked that Chris Wallace never mention the number of COVID deaths once during the debate. You can considered that confirmed from the Biden campaign. See how easy that was to try and throw out a distraction. It is pathetic. It’s weak. Once again the Trump campaign is lying. They’re going to process because they don’t want to debate Joe Biden on the substance. You go to process when you can’t go to substance.”
Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh fired back at Bedingfield, saying, “This is a lie and it never happened. This is the height of playing politics with a public health crisis. Biden is trying to distract from the facts that he won’t submit to an inspection for earpieces, won’t take a drug test, and needs multiple breaks during the 90-minute debate.”
The first of three debates between President Trump and Democrat nominee Joe Biden starts at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday. It is being hosted by Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. The debate will be moderated by Chris Wallace, the host of “Fox News Sunday”.
Fox News reported that they have “reached out to the Commission on Presidential debates – the bipartisan organization that for more than three decades has organized and produced the debates – for a response to the requests.”
Traditionally, the commission has pushed back against requests for commercial breaks.