CNN to Host Biden-Trump Debate on June 27

The debate will be held in CNN’s Atlanta studios without a live audience

Trump Biden debate 2020
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President Joe Biden and presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump have both agreed to a debate hosted by CNN on June 27, the network announced Wednesday.

The debate will be held in CNN’s Atlanta studios without an audience present and will air at 9 p.m. ET. CNN anchors Jake Tapper and Dana Bash will moderate the live event.

Biden challenged Trump to two debates on Wednesday morning, in an effort to bypass the bipartisan Presidential Debate Commission, accepting CNN’s invitation shortly after. 

“Over to you, Donald. As you said: anywhere, any time, any place,” Biden wrote on social media. Trump reportedly accepted the invitation shortly after Biden, telling Fox News’ Brooke Singman, “I’ll be there.” 

After the debate was announced, CNN CEO Mark Thompson took the stage at Warner Bros. Discovery upfronts, saying, “I wrote to President Biden and former President Donald Trump inviting both of them to take part in a presidential debate. We’ve received word from both candidates that they’ve accepted the invitation.”

In order to qualify for the CNN debate, candidates must fulfill the requirements, including filing a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission, the candidate’s name appearing on a sufficient number of state ballots, agreeing to accept the rules and format of the debate and receiving at least 15% in four separate national polls of registered or likely voters that meet CNN’s standards for reporting.

The polling window to determine eligibility for the debate opened March 13, and closes seven days before the date of the debate.

A second presidential debate hosted by ABC News has also been scheduled for Sept. 10, according to both Biden and Trump, who posted to social media that they have agreed to participate. ABC’s “World News Tonight” announced Wednesday that David Muir and Linsey Davis will moderate.

“Trump says he’ll arrange his own transportation,” Biden wrote on X (formerly Twitter). “I’ll bring my plane, too. I plan on keeping it for another four years.”

Trump accepted the proposal with a post on his Truth Social platform, writing, “Likewise, I accept the ABC News Debate against Crooked Joe on September 10th. Thank you, DJT!”

The ABC News debate will also air on streaming services ABC News Live and Hulu. Moderators, format and location will be provided at a later date. 

The live ABC event will also be simulcast on additional broadcast and streaming networks in the U.S., one major difference between the CNN debate, which will only be streaming to CNN channels, CNN.com, and CNN Max.

“Donald Trump lost two debates to me in 2020, and since then he hasn’t shown up for a debate,” Biden said in a Wednesday video message. “Now he is acting like he wants to debate me again. Well, make my day, pal. I’ll even do it twice.”

Trump responded almost immediately with a post to Truth Social accepting the debate proposal. “Just tell me when, I’ll be there,” he wrote. “’Let’s get ready to Rumble!!!’”

The bipartisan debate commission has organized presidential debates since the 1988 election and has already scheduled three presidential debates for this year and one vice presidential debate. 

In April, major broadcast and cable networks collaborated on a joint open letter urging Biden and Trump to participate in televised debates ahead of the 2024 election. 

“We, the undersigned national news organizations, urge the presumptive presidential nominees to publicly commit to participating in general election debates before November’s election,” an excerpt read. 

“There is simply no substitute for the candidates debating with each other, and before the American people, their visions for the future of the nation,” the news organizations said. 

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