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

The debate commission has adopted new rules for this week's debate, AP reports.

Corinne Reichert Senior Editor
Corinne Reichert (she/her) grew up in Sydney, Australia and moved to California in 2019. She holds degrees in law and communications, and currently writes news, analysis and features for CNET across the topics of electric vehicles, broadband networks, mobile devices, big tech, artificial intelligence, home technology and entertainment. In her spare time, she watches soccer games and F1 races, and goes to Disneyland as often as possible.
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The first debate between Donald Trump and Joe Biden saw continual interruptions.

James Martin/CNET

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.

Trump called the mute function "very unfair" while speaking to reporters on Wednesday, according to Bloomberg.

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.