UPDATE: There is no evidence to support that either candidate wore an earpiece the night of the debate.
Joe Biden’s (D) team has reportedly rejected the Trump campaign’s request to have the former vice president’s ears inspected for an electronic device prior to Tuesday night’s debate despite agreeing to the proposal just days ago.
President Trump’s campaign has requested that a third party inspect the ears of both candidates for listening devices ahead of the first presidential debate in Cleveland, Ohio. While Trump has agreed to the request, the Biden campaign, at the time of this writing, has reportedly declined the request. That represents a drastic shift for the former vice president’s campaign, which reportedly agreed to the request just days ago.
“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,” the New York Post’s Ebony Bowden reported. Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign’s director of communications, confirmed the report:
Can confirm. https://t.co/TDG51c6b10
— Tim Murtaugh – Download the Trump 2020 app today! (@TimMurtaugh) September 29, 2020
— Kayleigh McEnany (@kayleighmcenany) September 29, 2020
According to reports, Biden’s team also requested breaks every 30 minutes — a request that was ultimately denied.
Over the weekend, Trump also requested that Biden undergo a drug test, either before or after the debate, citing the former vice president’s “uneven” debate performances. Biden’s campaign sharply dismissed the request and stated that the Democrat presidential hopeful “intends to deliver his debate answers in words.”
“Joe Biden’s handlers several days ago agreed to a pre-debate inspection for electronic earpieces but today abruptly reversed themselves and declined,” Murtaugh 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,” he continued.
“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?” he asked.
The commercial-free, 90-minute debate will begin at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.