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1st Biden-Trump debate will include microphone muting, coin flip and more

Written by on June 17, 2024

(WASHINGTON) — With less than two weeks until the first presidential debate, CNN announced the rules agreed on by both President Joe Biden and Donald Trump’s campaigns.

They include microphone muting, a coin flip and more when the two candidates face off at the network’s Atlanta studio on June 27.

The debate, which is being moderated by CNN anchors Jake Tapper and Dana Bash, will run for approximately 90 minutes with two commercial breaks. There will be no live studio audience, one major change from debates past.

Biden and Trump will stand at podiums decided by a coin flip. Their microphones will be muted unless it is their turn to speak, the network said, which is likely to limit how much the candidates can interrupt one another.

CNN said they won’t be allowed to use any props or pre-written notes but will be given paper, a pen and water.

The CNN debate is the first of two debates agreed on by the campaigns. The second will be hosted by ABC News on Sept. 10.

They were scheduled on May 15, shortly after Biden publicly challenged Trump to participate in two debates. The Trump campaign accepted but pushed for additional debates in July and August, which have not materialized.

The Biden campaign set out some conditions for the debate, including that they be conducted by news organizations, not the bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates, and should have no in-person audience to limit disruptions.

This month’s debate, the earliest ever in a presidential race, comes before the Republican and Democratic conventions later this summer — when both Trump and Biden will officially accept their party’s nominations.

On Monday, the Biden campaign rolled out a new ad as part of a $50 million media campaign in battleground states. The media buy includes an advertisement highlighting Trump’s historic conviction in his hush money trial.

“Trump approaches the first debate as a convicted felon who continues to prove that he will do anything and harm anyone if it means more power and vengeance for Donald Trump,” Biden-Harris 2024 Communications Director Michael Tyler said in a statement.

Trump’s team pushed back against the ad, again claiming his New York trial was a “sham.”

“The contrast between President Trump’s strength and success versus Crooked Joe Biden’s weakness, failures, and dishonesty will be made clear on the debate stage next week, ” said Trump campaign spokesperson Karoline Leavitt.

ABC News’ Gabrielle Abdul-Hakim and Lalee Ibssa contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.


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