CNN to Host Trump-Biden Debate Without Audience

( – The first presidential debate for the 2024 general election will take place on June 27 at CNN’s Atlanta studio.

The deal was forged after President Biden finally agreed to set a date, although his campaign made clear that it preferred a candidate-only debate with no live audience. CNN complied with the request, announcing in a press release that the 9 p.m. debate would be conducted sans spectators. Meanwhile, Trump encouraged the presence of a large audience. If both candidates follow through with the plan, the debate will be the earliest general election presidential debate in United States history.

The announcement came after Biden challenged the 45th president to a debate in a video posted to his social media accounts. For months now, Trump has told Biden that he would debate him whenever and wherever, but Biden made it appear as if he was the one who made the initial offer. Both candidates have objected to the debates already scheduled by the Commission on Presidential Debates, namely the debate dates set to occur after voters have already begun early voting. In a letter to the commission, Biden’s campaign made several other demands, including limiting response times for answers and muting the microphone of the candidate not being asked a question.

Biden and Trump both agreed to a second debate hosted by ABC News on September 10. Trump suggested two additional debate dates in July and August, while also accepting an October debate hosted by Fox News. The Biden campaign released a statement shutting down the idea of any additional debates, claiming that Biden “made his terms clear.” The pointed statement also warned Trump, “No more games. No more chaos, no more debate about debates.”

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who is running as an independent, has until a week before the debate to qualify for participation. However, one of the stipulations of Biden’s campaign was to have a one-on-one debate with Trump, which could mean that he might back out if Kennedy ended up qualifying. The highly anticipated event will be hosted by CNN’s Jake Tapper and Dana Bash.

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