Biden, Trump agree to June, September presidential debates

President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump accepted invitations from CNN and ABC News to debate each other in June and September in what will be the first faceoffs between the two presidential hopefuls before voters head to the polls in November.

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Biden earlier said that he’s willing to debate former Trump twice before the election, telling his Republican challenger in the race for the White House to “pick the dates.” Trump said in a social media post that he was “Ready and Willing” to debate Biden in June and September.

Biden, Trump accept invitation for Sept. 10 debate

Update 11:50 a.m. EDT May 15: President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that they have both accepted a second debate invitation from ABC News.

Trump announced his acceptance in a social media post calling Biden “Crooked,” “the WORST PRESIDENT in the History of the United States” and “a true Threat to Democracy.”

Biden also confirmed his acceptance, saying, “I’ll bring my plane, too. I plan on keeping it for another four years.”

CNN announces plan for June 27 debate

Update 11:05 a.m. EDT May 15: In a news release Wednesday, CNN shared that it will host a debate at 9 p.m. EDT on June 27 between President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump.

The debate will be held without an audience in CNN’s Atlanta studios. Moderators were not immediately announced.

Trump accepts invitation for June debate

Update 10:55 a.m. EDT May 15: Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday accepted an invitation from CNN to debate President Joe Biden on June 27, according to the news network.

His acceptance came after Biden said he accepted the proposed debate. He has also offered to debate Trump a second time before the election.

Biden says he’s accepted invitation for June debate

Update 10:30 a.m. EDT May 15: In a social media post published hours after President Joe Biden suggested he and former President Donald Trump faceoff for two debates ahead of the November election, Biden said he’s accepted an invitation for a June debate.

“I’ve received and accepted an invitation from @CNN for a debate on June 27th,” the president wrote on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. “Over to you, Donald. As you said: anywhere, any time, any place.”

It was not immediately clear whether Trump would accept the same invitation. He earlier said on his Truth Social platform that he was “ready and Willing to Debate” Biden “at the two proposed times in June and September.”

Original report: Biden invited Trump to debate him twice in a video posted online on Wednesday.

“Donald Trump lost two debates to me in 2020. Since then, he hasn’t shown up for a debate. Now he’s acting like he wants to debate me again,” Biden said in the video shared by his campaign.

“Well, make my day, pal. I’ll even do it twice. So let’s pick the dates, Donald. I hear you’re free on Wednesdays,” he added, referencing the weekly break in Trump’s ongoing criminal trial in New York.

Officials with Biden’s campaign proposed holding debates in late June and early September, bucking the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates, which had set debates for September and October, according to a letter obtained by The Washington Post and The New York Times. In the letter, sent to the commission, Biden campaign chair Jen O’Malley Dillon laid out several conditions sought for the debate ahead of expected negotiations with Trump’s team.

O’Malley Dillon said the decision to seek debates held by news organizations instead of the commission stemmed from the schedule set out by the group and past issues keeping candidates from violating debate rules, according to the Post and the Times.

“The Commission’s model of building huge spectacles with large audiences at great expense simply isn’t necessary or conducive to good debates,” she wrote in the letter to the commission. “The debates should be conducted for the benefit of the American voters, watching on television and at home — not as entertainment for an in-person audience with raucous or disruptive partisans and donors, who consume valuable debate time with noisy spectacles of approval or jeering.”

Trump — who did not appear for any of the debates between Republican presidential hopefuls before he gained enough votes to become the party’s presumptive nominee — has called for Biden to debate him several times.

In a social media post on Wednesday, the former president said he was “Ready and Willing” to debate Biden “at the two proposed times in June and September.” He called Biden “the WORST debater I have ever faced” and added that he would be willing to appear for more than two debates.

Last week, Trump said in a video directed at Biden that he was “ready to go anywhere that you are.”

“Let’s set it up right now,” Trump said.

The former president’s campaign earlier objected to the schedule shared by the Commission on Presidential Debate, emphasizing that debates were set “AFTER early voting,” a decision it called “unacceptable,” according to The Associated Press.

The commission had set the first debate to take place on Sept. 16 in Texas, with two more following on Oct. 1 in Virginia and on Oct. 9 in Utah.

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