Biden and Trump agree to presidential debates on June 27 on CNN and on Sept. 10 on ABC

Biden and Trump agree to presidential debates on June 27 on CNN and on Sept. 10 on ABC

Biden and Trump agree to presidential debates on June 27 on CNN and on Sept. 10 on ABC

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump on Wednesday agreed to hold two campaign debates in June and September — the first on June 27 hosted by CNN and the second on Sept. 10 hosted by ABC — setting the stage for the first presidential face-off in just weeks.

The quick agreement on the timetable to meet followed the Democrat's announcement that he will not participate in fall presidential debates sponsored by the nonpartisan commission that has organized them for more than three decades. Biden's campaign instead proposed that media outlets directly organize the debates with the first to be held in late June and the second in September before early voting begins. Trump, in a post on his Truth Social site, said he was “Ready and Willing to Debate” Biden at the proposed times.

Hours later, Biden said he accepted an invitation from CNN to a debate on June 27, adding, “Over to you, Donald. As you said: anywhere, anytime, any place.” Trump said on Truth Social he'd "be there, adding: “Let’s get ready to Rumble!!!”

And soon after they agreed to the second debate on ABC. Trump said on Truth Social it was his “great honor" to accept the CNN and ABC debates.

Biden said he, too, had received and accepted the invitations. “Trump says he’ll arrange his own transportation. I’ll bring my plane, too. I plan on keeping it for another four years,” he wrote on X.

Still, the two sides appeared to be hold some differences on key questions of how to organize the debates, including agreeing on moderators and rules — some of the very questions that prompted the formation of the Commission on Presidential Debates in 1987.

CNN said that the debate would be held in its Atlanta studios and that “no audience will be present.” It said moderators and other details would be announced later. 

As recently as Wednesday morning, Trump expressed his desire for a large live audience.

“I would strongly recommend more than two debates and, for excitement purposes, a very large venue, although Biden is supposedly afraid of crowds - That’s only because he doesn’t get them,” Trump said. “Just tell me when, I’ll be there.”

Trump has been pushing for more debates and earlier debates, arguing voters should be able to see the two men face off well before early voting begins in September.