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How to watch the first presidential debate of 2024

For the first time, a general election presidential debate will be held before the nominating conventions.
Joe Biden; Donald Trump
Posted at 8:27 AM, Jun 24, 2024

The first of at least two presidential debates is this week. Here is what you need to know and how to tune in:

When is the debate?

The debate begins Thursday at 9 p.m. ET and is expected to last 90 minutes.

How can I watch the debate?

Scripps News will air CNN's simulcast of the debate live on-air and online. To find Scripps News on air, click here. You can also watch on Scripps News' website.

Who will participate?

Presumptive Democratic nominee President Joe Biden and presumptive Republican nominee former President Donald Trump have accepted invitations to participate. Independent candidates, such as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. or Jill Stein, did not meet the criteria for an invitation. Several independent candidates have threatened legal action over not being included.

Who will moderate?

Long-time CNN anchors Jake Tapper and Dana Bash will serve as moderators. Tapper joined CNN in 2012, while Bash has been with the network for over two decades.

Debate rules

According to CNN, moderators will be allowed to mute the candidates' microphones during the debate when it is not the candidates' turn to speak. CNN also said that there will be two commercial breaks during the 90-minute debate, but campaign staff will not be allowed to interact with candidates during these intermissions.

Candidates will be given a pen, a pad of paper and a bottle of water, but they are not allowed to bring any prewritten notes or props with them to the stage, organizers said.

What's different about this debate?

For the first time since 1984, leading presidential candidates will debate outside the auspices of the Commission on Presidential Debates. Both the Biden and Trump campaigns criticized the debate-organizing nonprofit for its format.

Instead, President Biden and Trump formalized agreements with CNN and ABC News allowing them to organize and simulcast two presidential debates. A vice presidential debate will also be organized by CBS News between Vice President Kamala Harris and Trump's yet-to-be-named running mate.

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