Joe Biden’s reported reversal on ear checks prior to first presidential debate raises questions

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is raising eyebrows over the most recent negotiations ahead of his first presidential debate.

President Trump’s re-election campaign has reportedly asked to have a third party inspect the ears of both men for electronic devices or transmitters, and requested that the Biden campaign allow the new ground rule as the 2020 contenders face off for the first time on Tuesday. But Biden’s team has reportedly rejected the request, according to Fox News, spurring even more questions.

Ahead of the debate, the Trump campaign noted that the president had agreed to the ear check but that Biden’s team had “not — so far” agreed. The Trump campaign had also reportedly rejected Biden’s request for a break every 30 minutes during the 90 minute debate.

Fox News anchors Bill Hemmer and Bret Baier discussed the requests and the disagreements during a segment on Tuesday. Baier called the requests by each campaign “significant,” noting that the breaks within the event are set by the Commission on Presidential debates.

“As far as the listening devices, and the Biden campaign’s response to that, I think that’s interesting,” Baier said. “We’re going to have to follow that through the day to what comes out of that.”

While tweeting the Fox video above, creator of the Dilbert comic strip Scott Adams asked why Biden wouldn’t  ‘spare 5 seconds to clear up a conspiracy theory’ and go along with the check.

Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh shared that Biden’s campaign had reversed a previous agreement to the ear inspections.

“Joe Biden’s handlers several days ago agreed to a pre-debate inspection for electronic earpieces but today abruptly reversed themselves and declined,” he said, according to Fox News.

“Biden’s handlers have asked for multiple breaks during the debate, which President Trump doesn’t need, so we have rejected that request,” Murtaugh added. “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?”

During a call with reporters, Biden’s deputy campaign manager, Kate Bedingfield, slammed the Trump campaign’s request as “absurd” and denied that there had been a request for breaks every 30 minutes.

“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,” Bedingfield said of Trump. “It is completely absurd. Of course, he’s not wearing an earpiece and we never asked for breaks.”

A source with the Trump campaign reportedly told Fox News that “our guy doesn’t need breaks. He gives 90-minute speeches all the time.”

Trump and Biden will reportedly be socially distanced from one another on the debate stage Tuesday night with Fox News anchor Wallace, who is moderating, is set to sit at a desk in front of them.

As Biden’s supporters blasted Trump’s campaign for pushing conspiracy theories in the ear check request, others wondered why it was such an issue to agree to an inspection and essentially put the theories to rest.


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