Trump and Biden mics will be muted in the final presidential debate – CNET

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The first debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden saw continual interruptions.

James Martin/CNET
This story is part of Elections 2020, CNET's coverage of the run-up to voting in November.

The moderator of Thursday's final presidential debate between US President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden will have the power to mute their microphones, AP reported late Monday. After the chaotic first debate saw continual interruptions, this new policy would mean both candidates get to finish their two minutes of response time uninterrupted.  

"Under the agreed upon debate rules, each candidate is to have two minutes of uninterrupted time to make remarks," said a statement from the Commission on Presidential Debates, tweeted by AP. "The only candidate whose microphone will be open during these two-minute periods is the candidate who has the floor."

During open discussion, however, both mics will be open.

The Commission on Presidential Debates didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. On Friday, the commission announced the topics for the debate, selected by moderator Kristen Welker, NBC News White House correspondent. The topics are: "Fighting COVID-19," "American Families," "Race in America," "Climate Change," "National Security" and "Leadership." 

The final debate will take place Thursday, Oct. 22 at Belmont University in Nashville, starting at 6 p.m. PT and lasting for 90 minutes, with no commercial breaks.  

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