The Commission on Presidential Debates said Monday night that it will mute President Donald Trump’s and Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s microphones during parts of Thursday’s presidential debate at Belmont University in Nashville.
The 90-minute debate will be delineated into six 15-minute segments, each with a different topic. The commission said it will give Trump and Biden two minutes apiece to speak uninterrupted at the start of each segment. A period of ‘‘open discussion’’ will follow until the next segment begins.
Trump’s campaign has repeatedly opposed the idea of granting the moderator the power to shut off a candidate’s microphone — an idea that has been floated in the aftermath of the first debate, during which Trump repeatedly interrupted and jeered Biden.
But in a statement Monday night, Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien suggested that the president still plans to participate.
‘‘President Trump is committed to debating Joe Biden regardless of last minute rule changes from the biased commission in their latest attempt to provide advantage to their favored candidate,’’ Stepien said. He did not provide evidence to back up his accusation that the nonpartisan debate commission favors Biden.
‘‘This was supposed to be the foreign policy debate, so the President still looks forward to forcing Biden to answer the number one relevant question of whether he’s been compromised by the Communist Party of China,’’ he added.
The statement echoes other suggestions by campaign officials in recent days that Trump plans to grill Biden on his family’s business ties as well as his foreign policy record as vice president and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
In-person early voting popular across Florida
Thousands of voters flocked to the polls throughout Florida on the state’s first day of in-person voting Monday despite heavy rains across the state, adding to the evidence that Americans are unusually eager to cast ballots in this year’s presidential election.
In Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, and many other Florida communities, voters lined up before polls opened Monday to cast their ballots in person at the first available moment.
Kyle Woodard, a 44-year-old schoolteacher from Pompano Beach, said ‘‘it’s just a really important year to vote’’ after casting his ballot at the African-American Research Museum in Fort Lauderdale.
‘‘I’m really inspired based on what’s going on in the country,’’ Woodard said. ‘‘So the first chance I got, I was going to take it.’’
Woodard said President Trump’s constant attacks on mail voting, including unsubstantiated claims that it would result in widespread fraud, are a blatant attempt at voter suppression. ‘‘Being Black, I’ve seen a lot of suppression my whole life,’’ he said. ‘‘This is nothing new.’’
Statewide data from Friday showed a distinct advantage for Democrats among mail voters, with more than 1 million Democrats casting ballots by mail compared to about 620,000 Republicans, according to the Florida Democratic Party.
Post reporter refused to put byline on Hunter Biden story
The New York Post’s front-page article about Hunter Biden on Wednesday was written mostly by a staff reporter who refused to put his name on it, two Post employees said.
Bruce Golding, a reporter at the Rupert Murdoch-owned tabloid since 2007, did not allow his byline to be used because he had concerns over the article’s credibility, the two Post employees said, speaking on the condition of anonymity out of fear of retaliation.
Coming late in a heated presidential campaign, the article suggested that Joe Biden had used his position to enrich his son Hunter when he was vice president. The Post based the story on photos and documents the paper said it had taken from the hard drive of a laptop purportedly belonging to Hunter Biden.
Many Post staff members questioned whether the paper had done enough to verify the authenticity of the hard drive’s contents, said five people with knowledge of the tabloid’s inner workings. Staff members also had concerns about the reliability of its sources and its timing, the people said.
The article named two sources: Stephen K. Bannon, the former adviser to President Trump now facing federal fraud charges, who was said to have made the paper aware of the hard drive last month; and Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, who was said to have given the paper “a copy’’ of the drive on Oct. 11.
Giuliani said he chose the Post because “either nobody else would take it, or if they took it, they would spend all the time they could to try to contradict it before they put it out.’’
As deadline approached, editors pressed staff members to add their bylines to the story — and at least one aside from Golding refused, two Post journalists said. A Post spokeswoman had no comment on how the story was written or edited.
Headlined “BIDEN SECRET E-MAILS,’’ the article appeared Wednesday with two bylines: Emma-Jo Morris, a deputy politics editor who joined the paper after four years at the Murdoch-owned Fox News, and Gabrielle Fonrouge, a Post reporter since 2014.
Morris did not have a bylined article in the Post before Wednesday, a search of its website showed. She arrived at the tabloid in April after working as an associate producer on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show, according to her LinkedIn profile. Her Instagram account, which was set to private Wednesday, included photos of her posing with the former Trump administration members Bannon and Sarah Huckabee Sanders, as well as Roger Stone, a friend and former campaign adviser to Trump. (In July, the president commuted the sentence of Stone on seven felonies.)
Fonrouge had little to do with the reporting or writing of the article, said three people with knowledge of how it was prepared. She learned that her byline was on the story only after it was published, the people said.
New York Times
Poll shows voters see importance in 2020 election
Seventy-seven percent of registered US voters say the outcome of this year’s election matters more to them than prior elections — a record high in Gallup polling.
Only 2 percent of voters say the election matters less than in the past, while 21 percent say it matters about the same, according to the Gallup survey released Monday.
The share of voters who say this election matters more is up six percentage points from 2016 and is the highest since Gallup started asking the question in 1996.
The poll finds that Democrats (85 percent) are slightly more likely than Republicans (79 percent) to say the election matters more