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September 29, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – With President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden set to square off this evening in their first presidential debate, Biden is reportedly rejecting an agreement to verify that neither candidate will be fed answers via an electronic earpiece.

Fox News reports that the Biden campaign is refusing to allow an independent screener to check both men’s ears before the debate begins, a condition requested by the Trump campaign. The Trump campaign further claims that Biden had previously agreed to the measure, but has reversed himself at the last minute.

“Joe Biden’s handlers several days ago agreed to a pre-debate inspection for electronic earpieces but today abruptly reversed themselves and declined,” Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh says. “Biden’s handlers have asked for multiple breaks during the debate, which President Trump doesn’t need, so we have rejected that request. On top of the refusal to take a drug test, it seems pretty obvious that the Biden team is looking for any safety net they can find in the hours leading up to the debate. With his 47 years as a failed Washington politician, how much help does Biden want?”

Biden campaign deputy manager Kate Bedingfield responded that Trump’s “staff seems concerned that he may not do well tonight and they’re already laying the groundwork for how they’re going to lie about why. It is completely absurd. Of course, he’s not wearing an earpiece and we never asked for breaks.”

“Our guy doesn't need breaks,” another Trump campaign source shot back. “He gives 90-minute speeches all the time.”

While accusations of being fed answers are nothing new in politics, this dustup has taken on added interest in light of ongoing speculation about the 77-year-old Biden’s mental acuity.

Biden has been famously gaffe-prone for years. But the increasing frequency of confused and incoherent statements from the former vice president this election season has sparked a marked increase in speculation from friends and foes alike as to the contender’s mental fitness for the presidency, leading Biden to pledge in February to only serve one term “if anything changed in my health, making it incapable for me to fully exert all the energy and mental acuity that was needed to be done.”

Last week, National Review’s Charles Cooke speculated that the Biden campaign’s increasingly-frequent habit of ending the candidate’s day by noon or earlier, along with a schedule of scantly-publicized events that “seem to have been designed to be either easily cancelable or easily replaceable,” are fueling speculation that “there is something wrong with Biden. Perhaps he is unable to work every day? Perhaps his schedule needs to be set up in such a way as it can be amended without notice?”

LifeSiteNews will be covering the debate live tonight from 9PM to 10:30PM eastern time.