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Trump, Biden to have microphones muted for part of final U.S. presidential debate

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden participate in their first 2020 presidential campaign debate in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S., September 29, 2020. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

(Reuters) - President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden will have their microphones muted for parts of their final debate on Thursday to allow each U.S. presidential candidate a block of uninterrupted time to speak, according to the group sponsoring the debate.

The Commission on Presidential Debates, the sponsor of the televised debate in Nashville, said changes were necessary after the combative first debate between the candidates on Sept. 29.

“We realize, after discussions with both campaigns, that neither campaign may be totally satisfied with the measures announced today,” the commission said in a statement. “We are comfortable that these actions strike the right balance and that they are in the interest of the American people, for whom these debates are held.”

The debate organizers will give each candidate two minutes of uninterrupted time at the beginning of each segment of the debate, which will be 15 minutes each.

“The only candidate whose microphone will be open during these two-minute periods is the candidate who has the floor under the rules,” the commission said.

Reporting by Steve Holland and Trevor Hunnicutt; Editing by Sandra Maler and Leslie Adler

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