US President Donald Trump will take part in the upcoming third round of presidential debates despite the fact that the Commission on Presidential Debates has chose to change the rules allowing for the muting of microphones, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said.
Each candidate will have an uninterrupted two minutes to speak at the beginning of each of the six 15-minute segments of the debate at Belmont University in Nashville. These remarks are to be followed by a period of open discussion.
Following the first debate, the commission did not specify what changes they would be making, but their statement at the time said they intended "to ensure that additional tools to maintain order are in place for the remaining debates".
Mr Biden has a commanding lead nationally in opinion polls with two weeks to go until the election.
Bill Stepien also claimed that the Trump and Biden campaigns agreed to foreign affairs being a key part of the third debate.
During a campaign rally on Monday afternoon in Prescott, Arizona, Mr Trump described Ms Welker as a "radical Democrat" and said she would be "no good".
He also reiterated a complaint he made earlier Monday that the debate was supposed to be focused on foreign policy, but that the list of topics had been changed to help Biden avoid responding to questions about the business dealings of his son Hunter.
Toobin suspended by the New Yorker, steps away from CNN
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Mr Stepien accused Mr Biden of being "desperate to avoid conversations about his own foreign policy record" and the commission of trying to "insulate Biden from his own history". Welker announced earlier Monday that debate topics include: "Fighting COVID-19", "American Families", "Race in America", "Climate Change", "National Security", and "Leadership".
"The campaigns and the commission agreed months ago that the debate moderator would choose the topics", Biden campaign spokesman TJ Ducklo said in a statement.
The open discussion portion of the debate will not feature a mute button, but interruptions by either candidate will count toward their time in the second and final debate Thursday.
The second round was cancelled as Trump had contracted COVID-19 but refused to debate Biden virtually. Both Trump and Biden ended up participating in dueling town halls on Thursday night instead.
"The Trump campaign is lying about that now because Donald Trump is afraid to face more questions about his disastrous Covid response".
Trump pulled out of what was supposed to be the second debate with Biden, scheduled for October 15, after the commission decided it would be conducted virtually because of the president's Covid-19 diagnosis on October 1. Fox News host Chris Wallace moderated the debate and lamented later that he lost control of the two candidates.