Trump and Biden
Donald Trump and Joe Biden AFP

Donald Trump and Joe Biden agreed to hold two presidential debates ahead of the November elections, one taking place in June and another in September.

The first event will be hosted by CNN on June 27, the network announced on Wednesday. The confirmation unfolded quickly, as Biden had announced in the morning that he wouldn't take part in debates organized by the nonpartisan commission that has done so for decades, instead proposing Trump that media outlets hold them directly.

"Make my day pal, I'll even do it twice. So let's pick the dates, Donald. I hear you're free on Wednesdays," says Biden in the video. Trump, on his end, said on his social media platform Truth Social that he is "ready and willing to debate" his opponent.

Biden then said that he had accepted an invitation from CNN for the mentioned date. "Over to you, Donald. As you said: anywhere, anytime, any place." Trump told Fox News Digital he accepted the invitation: "I'll be there," he told the outlet.

The proposal would exclude third-party candidates like Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who has gotten about 10% of the support in polls including him in the race.

The Associated Press reported that, despite the quick confirmations, the two camps still seem to be afar when it comes to key details regarding the organization, including media partners, moderators, location and rules.

The Biden campaign has been at odds against the Commission on Presidential Debates for what he saw as a failure to evenly apply its rules during the 2020 events, including not enforcing Covid-19 testing rules on Trump and his group.

Trump has been pushing for more debates with large live audiences, saying Biden is "supposedly afraid of crowds - That's only because he doesn't get them." Biden campaign chair Jen O'Malley Dillon, on her end, said that a television studio with just the candidates and moderators is a better, more cost-efficient way to proceed: focused solely on the interests of voters."

"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," she said.

FiveThirtyEight's national polling tracker shows an extremely tight race, with Trump holding 41.3% of the support compared to Biden's 40.3%. Even though polls in key battleground states show Biden lagging in most of them, the president believes the poor reports regarding the elections don't reflect his actual support and the ground he's gained across the country.

According to insiders, the incumbent has been telling people both in public and private that his support is steadily growing, so much so that he may even be ahead of his opponent, a new report by Axios shows.

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