The first presidential debate between candidates Joe Biden and Donald Trump has begun and marks a crucial moment in deciding who gets a lead in the electoral process.
Before the debate began, Trump expressed his concerns that Biden would be using an earpiece to get advice on what to say during the discussions and that he could be planning to use performance-enhancing drugs.
According to USA Today, Biden responded to Trump's accusations by tweeting a picture of earphones and ice cream, saying that he was preparing for the debate with his earpiece and performance enhancers the night before the event.
President Trump has repeatedly called global warming a "hoax" and said that greenhouse gases had little contribution to climate change.
When asked about the exact science of climate change, the Republican leader noted there were many factors to consider. He added he withdrew former President Barack Obama's Clean Power Plan, which he said shot energy prices through the roof.
Moderator Chris Wallace asked Trump if he was willing to condemn white supremacists who were partly responsible for the surging violence across the nation. The president said he was ready but noted that the real culprit behind the chaos was the left-wing movement.
Trump has repeatedly criticized the far-left anti-fascist group Antifa as being responsible for the large number of protests and violence within the United States.
However, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director, Chris Wray, said the Antifa is only partly to blame, noting white supremacists are also responsible.
Refusing to back down
During the debate, Trump frequently interrupted Biden while the former vice president answered the moderator's questions. Wallace repeatedly chided the Republican president and said that he was more disruptive during the discussions.
Later on, Wallace again noted Trump's interference and sarcastically asked if he wanted to swap seats with him.
During the later stages of the debate, the president again interrupted Biden, forcing Wallace to directly ask Trump why he was not abiding by the rules his campaign agreed with. When the Republican president tried to answer, the moderator quickly noted it was a rhetorical question.
Wallace also asked Trump about a report that The New York Times released, which detailed how the U.S. president only paid $750 in income tax in 2017, his first year in the White House, as reported by CBS News.
Trump answered by saying he paid several millions of dollars in income taxes and noted that his tax returns were currently being audited. He added that he is willing to reveal their contents once the process was finished.
Citing Trump's tax overhaul in 2017, Biden said the Republican leader ineptly handled the country's economy during his first term. The former vice president also criticized Trump and said he was the worst president the U.S. has ever had.
According to Fox News, chief political anchor Bret Baier said that the first 30 minutes of the debate is the crucial moment when the nation's eyes will be focused on the two presidential candidates.
White Hosue Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters on Tuesday that Trump was looking forward to having a heated exchange with Biden during the first presidential debate before the November election.