Trump Campaign Requests Changes For First Debate With Joe Biden

Donald Trump stands on stage at 2016 Presidential Debate
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President Donald Trump’s campaign requested several changes to the first presidential debate with presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden, including the addition of a fourth debate and a list of suggested moderators. According to Axios, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is Trump’s personal attorney, made the request on Wednesday in a letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates.

Given the surge in mail-in voting expected due to the coronavirus pandemic, the letter requested that the first Trump-Biden face-off take place during the first week of September, before ballots in North Carolina are due to be sent in. Trump and the former vice president were initially scheduled to meet on stage for the first time later in the same month, just weeks before Election Day.

“By the time of the first presidential debate on September 29, 2020, at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, as many as eight million Americans in 16 states will have already started voting,” Giuliani wrote in a letter to the CPD released by Axios.

According to Deadline, two additional dates have already been set for Trump and Biden to spar: October 15 in Miami and October 22 in Nashville. If the request for a fourth date is not approved, Giuliani asked to move the Nashville event to early September.

Donald Trump speaks at campaign rally in Colorado.
  Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Although neither Trump and Biden are not allowed to choose who fires off questions to the 2020 candidates, that didn’t stop the incumbent candidate’s team from making a few suggestions, including several journalists from FOX News.

On Wednesday, CNN reporter and political fact-checker Daniel Dale said that the lineup includes people known for giving the president “softball” interviews.

“Here’s the Trump campaign’s list of suggested moderators (the campaign does not get to pick the moderators), which includes a significant number of people who have given Trump fawning softball interviews,” Dale tweeted.

Many of the people on the wish list work for Fox News, including Bret Baier, Shannon Bream, Rachel Campos-Duffy, Harris Faulkner, and Bill Hemmer. Anchors from the network’s business division — Maria Bartiromo, Dagen McDowell and Charles Payne — were also requested.

FOX News anchor Chris Wallace, who interviewed Mr. Trump in July and pressed him on rising COVID-19 cases, was noticeably missing from the suggested lineup.

Although Trump called him “a very talented person” during the interview, he also noted that the veteran journalist leans “toward the Democrat side.” Wallace was a moderator for one of the 2016 debates when Trump ran against former first lady and then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.