CLEVELAND – President Trump is asking for an additional ground rule ahead of the first presidential debate Tuesday night between him and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.
Fox News has learned that the president’s re-election campaign is designed to allow the Biden campaign to allow third parties to examine the ears of any debater for electronic devices or transmitters. The president agreed to this type of inspection, but a source said the Biden campaign declined the ear check.
NO HANDSHOTS BETWEEN BIDEN AND TRUMPF IN THE DEBATE
The Trump campaign claimed Biden̵
“Joe Biden’s staff agreed to a pre-debate inspection for electronic earbuds a few days ago, but today they abruptly turned around and refused. Biden’s officials have asked for several breaks during the debate that President Trump does not need. That’s why we rejected this application, “said Tim Murtaugh, spokesman for the Trump campaign.” Aside from the refusal to take a drug test, it seems pretty obvious that the Biden team is looking for a safety net to find in the hours leading up to the debate. How much help does Biden want with his 47 years as a failed politician in Washington?
In recent weeks, the former Vice President’s campaign has also requested two breaks – one every 30 minutes – to end the 90-minute ad-free program. But that request was denied by her Trump counterparts, Fox News is told.
A Trump campaign source told Fox News, “Our man doesn’t need breaks. He gives 90-minute speeches all the time.”
And the source says negotiations for the Tuesday night debate are still ongoing – as are the remaining two showdowns between Biden and Trump.
Fox News is asking the Presidential Debate Commission – the non-partisan organization that has organized and produced the debates for more than three decades – to respond to the questions raised by the two campaigns.
The Commission has traditionally resisted requests from the networks about commercial breaks.
The debate – the first of three between Biden and Trump – begins Tuesday at 9:00 p.m. ET and is hosted by Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. The showdown will be hosted by Fox News Sunday anchor Chris Wallace.
Paul Steinhauser and John Roberts of Fox News contributed to this report