THURSDAYS DEBATE MIKES WILL BE MUTED

Mics will be cut for portions of final presidential debate after commission adopts new rules

President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden will have their microphones cut off during portions of Thursday’s debate while their rival speaks – but the moderator won’t have a mute button as some had speculated.

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced Monday it plans to mute the microphones of Trump and Biden as the other gives two-minute opening statements at the beginning of each of six topics during the debate in Nashville.

THURSDAYS DEBATE MIKES WILL BE MUTED DUE TO TRUMP DOMINANCE

But the microphones of both candidates will be on during the “open discussion” portion of the 90-minute debate, the commission said. The moderator, Kristen Welker of NBC News, has been tasked with returning any time taken up by interruptions to the other candidate. Welker won’t have the ability to cut the microphones during this period if one candidate speaks over the other.

“During the times dedicated for open discussion, it is the hope of the Commission that the candidates will be respectful of each other’s time, which will advance civil discourse for the benefit of the viewing public,” the commission said in a statement.

The bipartisan commission has faced increasing scrutiny from the Trump campaign to avoid changing the rules, while Biden’s team was hoping for a more ordered second and final debate at Nashville’s Belmont University.

The commission said both campaigns this week “again reaffirmed” their agreement to a two-minute, uninterrupted rule to kick off each segment. Turning off the microphones during opening statements of each segment, according to the commission, is meant to “enforce this agreed upon rule.”