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Biden and Trump agree to June and September presidential debates

Joe Biden and Donald Trump have agreed to participate in two televised presidential debates in June and September.

CNN announced the 27 June event on Tuesday, and said it would take place in the key swing state of Georgia.

A second debate on 10 September will be hosted by ABC.

The announcement came shortly after Mr Biden laid out his terms for taking on former President Trump in a debate ahead of November’s election.

No audience will attend the June debate in Atlanta, CNN said, while moderators will be announced at a later date.

ABC has yet to announce more details on the debate it is hosting.

Mr Trump said on his social media platform Truth Social, external that he also accepted an invitation from Fox News to for a third debate on 2 October. However, Mr Biden’s campaign chairwoman Jen O’Malley Dillon said the president had “made his terms clear for two one-on-one debates, and Donald Trump accepted those terms”.

Mr Biden broke tradition and proposed two televised debates in June and September. His rival quickly accepted, before suggesting they debate every month.

“We believe there should be more than just two opportunities for the American people to hear more from the candidates themselves,” the Trump campaign said.

Both candidates have traded barbs on social media, with Mr Trump stating: “Just tell me when. Let’s get ready to rumble!!!”

Mr Biden said Mr Trump was “free on Wednesdays” – a reference to his criminal trial in New York, while Mr Trump claimed his rival was the “worst debater” who “can’t put two sentences together”.

Mr Biden’s proposal of two debates breaks several established traditions.

It bypasses the presidential debate commission, which since 1988 has scheduled timings and had already set dates and locations for three debates in the autumn.

Mr Biden’s team wants the two televised debates to be conducted with no live audience – another break with tradition.

Candidates would take turns answering question from an agreed-upon moderator from a major news network, and the non-speaking candidate’s microphone would be deactivated.

Ms Dillon said said that raucous partisan crowds were not “conducive to good debates”.

The first 2020 debate between the two candidates was marred by frequent interruptions and cross-talk. The second was cancelled when Mr Trump caught Covid and refused to take part by video link.

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