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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - NASHVILLE: While millions of people will be watching on television, only around 200 will be allowed inside the massive college arena in Nashville where President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, meet Thursday night for the final presidential debate of the 2020 election.
One of them will control a mute button.
A representative of the Commission on Presidential Debates — not the moderator — will ensure each candidate has two full minutes uninterrupted to deliver opening answers on six major topics, according to debate commission chair Frank Fahrenkopf. A member of each of the the Trump and Biden campaigns is expected to monitor the person who controls the mute button backstage, Fahrenkopf said, noting that the button would not be used beyond the first four minutes of each topic.
The mute button is among a handful of changes implemented by the nonpartisan debate commission to help ensure a better sense of safety and order following the raucous opening debate 23 days ago.
Follow the debate live below (All times GMT)
01:35 - Trump's tax returns, once again, come up -- he claims to have paid millions of dollars in pre-paid taxes -- as well as his allegedly receiving money from Russia and China. Biden instantly goes on the attack on the Moscow and Beijing front: "Any country that interferes in American elections will pay a price... they are interfering with American sovereignty. That's what's going on right now."
Trump thentouches upon Biden's fundraising records in August and September - the Democratic candidate raised nearly $365 million in September. But Trump hasn't got time for praise. “I could blow away your records like you couldn’t believe,” he says.
01:25 - National security comes up next, and Russian and Iranian interference in the election campaign. Should be interesting...
01:10 - Our first topic, as expected, is how both men would beat the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) - Trump uses his two minutes to claim a vaccine is “ready” and “going to be announced within weeks.” Trump's summation, after saying he got over the virus, is: "We're turning the corner, it's going away"
Biden cites the growing death toll in the US, and claims that any leader who lets more than 220,000 people die does not deserve to be president of the United States. “This is the same fellow who told you it was going to end by Easter... he has no clear plan.”
TOP QUOTE: “No, it’s not a guarantee, but I think it will be by the end of the year... I think my timeline is going to be more accurate.” Trump's claims on the readiness of COVID-19 vaccine.
01:05 - Both men are on the stage, we're ready to go...
00:55 - Our moderator for tonight is Kristen Welker of NBC News, a woman who Trump has criticized in the build-up to this debate, calling her “a very biased person.”
00:45 - So with all the changes made to the protocols for this debate, here's hoping we have a slightly more civilized affair from the first debate between Trump and Biden earlier this month...
Biden is in the building, and he had a one-word message to his supporters. His running mate Kamala Harris will be his biggest supporter tonight too, by the looks of things.
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