On Tuesday morning, the Trump campaign requested a new rule for the first presidential debate: that a third party inspect both candidates for electronic devices or transmitters. President Trump had already consented to such an inspection, and the Biden campaign had reportedly agreed to this days ago, but Ebony Bowden of the New York Post reported moments ago that they are now declining.
NEW: Joe Biden’s campaign agreed to an inspection for electronic ear pieces at tonight’s debate several days ago but are now declining, a source familiar tells me.
— Ebony Bowden (@ebonybowden) September 29, 2020
The Trump campaign has since confirmed this flip-flop.
“Joe Biden’s handlers several days ago agreed to a pre-debate inspection for electronic earpieces but today abruptly reversed themselves and declined,” Tim Murtaugh, communications director for the Trump campaign, said in a statement. “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.”
Joe Biden’s handlers several days ago agreed to a pre-debate inspection for electronic earpieces but today abruptly reversed themselves & declined. Biden asked for multiple breaks during the debate, which President Trump doesn’t need, so we have rejected that request.
— Tim Murtaugh – Download the Trump 2020 app today! (@TimMurtaugh) September 29, 2020
The first debate will be held tonight at 9 PM ET. PJ Media’s Stephen Green will be drunkblogging the event.
Update: Biden campaign spokesperson Kate Bedingfield reacted to the allegations of the Trump campaign during a conference call with reporters. “Of course he’s not wearing an earpiece and we never asked for breaks,” Bedingfield said. “His staff seems concerned that he may not do well tonight and they’re already laying the groundwork to lie about why.”
“It is pathetic, it’s weak, once again the Trump campaign is lying,” she added.
Matt Margolis is the author of the new book Airborne: How The Liberal Media Weaponized The Coronavirus Against Donald Trump, and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis