Microphones will be muted during portions of Thursday's presidential debate

Catherine Garcia
·1 min read

The nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates announced on Monday night that during Thursday's debate between President Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, their microphones will be muted during specific times their opponent is speaking.

"We realize, after discussions with both campaigns, that neither campaign may be totally satisfied with the measures announced today," the commission said in a statement. "One may think they go too far, and one may think they do not go far enough. We are comfortable that these actions strike the right balance and that they are in the interest of the American people, for whom these debates are held."

During the first debate late last month, Trump continuously interrupted Biden and moderator Chris Wallace, and the commission later released a statement saying "additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues."

Thursday night's debate will be held in Nashville, moderated by NBC News' Kristen Welker. It will be divided into six 15-minute segments, with each candidate given two uninterrupted minutes to respond to Welker's question. During that period, the opponent's microphone will be turned off. The rest of each segment will be for open discussion, and the microphones will never be muted during this time.

Trump's campaign manager Bill Stepien called the commission "biased," having earlier called the idea of muting microphones "completely unacceptable," but said Trump will attend the debate.

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