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Joe Biden and Donald Trump agree on two head-to-head television debates

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Published Time: 16.05.2024 - 00:40:41 Modified Time: 16.05.2024 - 00:40:41

Mr Biden's team insisted the debates are held without a live audience, a move the Trump team are understood to have agreed to

Mr Biden's team insisted the debates are held without a live audience, a move the Trump team are understood to have agreed to.

US correspondent @Stone_SkyNews

Wednesday 15 May 2024 22:36, UK

Joe Biden and Donald Trump have agreed to two head-to-head live televised debates in June and September.

After months of speculation about whether the traditional presidential debates would go ahead, the US broadcaster CNN has announced that a primetime debate will take place at its global headquarters in Atlanta on 27 June at 9pm.

The June CNN debate is much earlier in the election cycle than tradition has dictated. It will be moderated by CNN hosts Dana Bash and Jake Tapper. There will be no live audience.

ABC will host a second debate, scheduled for 10 September, just under two months before the election on 5 November.

For weeks, former President Trump has been using social media and rallies to goad President Biden into taking part in a debate.

"Anytime. Anywhere. Anyplace," Mr Trump has repeatedly said.

Amid speculation over whether President Biden would be prepared to expose himself to the pressure and jeopardy of a live debate, the president used a radio interview in late April to confirm he would be "happy" to.

"I am happy to debate him," he said. "I am, somewhere. I don't know when," he told SiriusFM radio host Howard Stern.

That revelation prompted back-channel conversations between staff from the two campaigns to agree a format.

The debates will bypass the presidential debate commission that traditionally coordinates the process.

Mr Biden's team have insisted that the two debates do not include a live audience, a move the Trump team are understood to have agreed to.

An hour before CNN announced that it would host the first debate, President Biden released a clip on X confirming his willingness to take part.

"Donald Trump lost two debates to me in 2020. Since then, he hasn't shown up for a debate," President Biden said.

"Now he's acting like he wants to debate me again. Well, make my day, pal. I'll even do it twice. So let's pick the dates, Donald."

In a jibe at Mr Trump's court case in New York, which doesn't sit on Wednesdays, Mr Biden added: "I hear you're free on Wednesdays."

'He can't put two sentences together'

Donald Trump responded with a lengthy statement on his own social media platform, Truth Social.

"Crooked Joe Biden is the WORST debater I have ever facedHe can't put two sentences together! Crooked is also the WORST President in the history of the United States, by far," he said.

"It's time for a debate so that he can explain to the American People his highly destructive Open Border Policy, new and ridiculous EV Mandates, the allowance of Crushing Inflation, High Taxes, and his really WEAK Foreign Policy which is allowing the World to 'Catch on Fire.'"


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The former president continued: "I am Ready and Willing to Debate Crooked Joe at the two proposed times in June and September.

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