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Trump Campaign Reportedly Asks for Pre-Debate Ear Inspections, Biden Campaign Has ‘So Far’ Not Consented (UPDATE: Consented, Then Backtracked)

Trump Campaign Reportedly Asks for Pre-Debate Ear Inspections, Biden Campaign Has ‘So Far’ Not Consented (UPDATE: Consented, Then Backtracked)

Fox News reported the Trump campaign’s request for ears to be checked for electronic devices prior to tonight’s debate. The Biden campaign originally agreed, “but are now declining.”

Just a few hours from now, President Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden will take the stage for the first of three scheduled presidential debates between the two.

While Trump has in recent weeks openly called for “Sleepy Joe” Biden to have a drug test in advance of tonight’s debate, we’re learning today of some the behind-the-scenes negotiations that have gone on between the two campaigns:

Fox News has learned that the president’s re-election campaign wants the Biden campaign to allow a third party to inspect the ears of each debater for electronic devices or transmitters. The president has consented to this kind of inspection, but Biden has not, so far, sources said.

Over the last several weeks, the former vice president’s campaign has also requested two breaks — one every 30 minutes — to break up the 90-minute commercial-free program. But that request has been denied by their Trump counterparts, Fox News is told.

Regarding the Biden campaign’s request for two breaks, Bret Baier noted this morning in an exchange with Bill Hemmer that the issue of breaks was not actually up to either campaign to say yay or nay to. Baier also made the following observation:

“The debate commission has always said that it’s 90 minutes straight through, and that’s how they plan for it, and that’s what they told the networks and that’s what we’re planning for as far as our coverage.”


Obviously, the demand that will get the most attention in the media today is the one about checking for ear devices. Some “journalists” are already grumbling about it, including CNN White House correspondent John Harwood:

Apparently, Harwood is either completely unaware of or finds irrelevant the fact that Biden has been caught numerous times using teleprompters during what were supposed to be unscripted interviews with reporters.

The left-wing hacks at Media Matters were also triggered by the news of the Trump campaign wanting ears checked:

MMFA “director of media intelligence” (seriously) Lis Power was especially incensed, laughably attempting a facial expression read of both Hemmer and Baier to determine what they were allegedly trying to imply:

While we don’t know as of this writing what the Biden campaign’s response will be to the ear inspection request, there are some alternative suggestions being thrown around on Twitter for how the Trump campaign should handle the (potential) issue in their own way:

I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if he did just that.

Tonight’s debate will be at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio and starts at 9 pm ET. It will be moderated by Fox News host Chris Wallace.


A source told the New York Post the Biden campaign had originally agreed to the earpiece check “several days ago” but have now backtracked:

Next thing you know Biden’s team will call yet another mysterious “lid” shortly before the debate is scheduled to start.

Stay tuned!

— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —


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Art of the deal. You want a break every 30 minutes then you get an inspection.

Trump is owning them hard on this one.

I am morbidly curious how the debate goes.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to Andy. | September 29, 2020 at 12:37 pm

    So am I, Andy, but, haven’t the heart to watch. Ever since I saw Congressman Engle fall to pieces on live TV, I don’t have the stomach for seeing Biden’s possible mind-bang.

    Sure, I despise both the man and his policies, but, unlike many I see commenting at other sites, I would take no more pleasure in seeing him mentally collapse any more than I want to view the videos of Nadler having an accident.

      I feel the same way. I’ll watch video compilations of racing wrecks, but I don’t like to see people as individuals being embarrassed in public. I will not be watching. If nothing of the sort happens, I know I can watch the debate later on YouTube. (But not likely. There’s nothing either party can do or say at this point that will convince me to vote for Biden. I am 63 and have been voting since I was 18 and have never voted for a Democrat.)

      Still, if Biden has a bad stumble, I’ll not be upset about it. And I expect him to do so, which is why I won’t watch.

      I watched Biden vs Ryan in 2012 and was impressed how a man with a far lesser command of the issues did not get as badly trounced as he should have. He had showmanship and was able to get the “malarky” tirades to stick. Trump should not discount that. People think Joe’s dementia will hurt him, I say it will be just the opposite.

      His skill at hiding having no command of the issues will have improved. Old folks with dementia practice fooling everyone 24/7. He’ll be a ninja at it, especially with the pre-debate pep talk from his pharmacist.

      So far as earning my sympathy. Joe is on the same wrung of the ladder as Ted Kennedy in my book. I don’t feel pity for him. He’s gone farther than a man of his talents ever should have both in terms of his Senate career, time as VP. I’m just a jackass behind a keyboard while he’s in the running for leader of the free world after being one heart beat away from the presidency for 8 years. Nope- plebs should have no remorse over a would be Nero’s downfall.

        Edward in reply to Andy. | September 29, 2020 at 6:02 pm

        As Kat Timpf noted the other day, Joe’s 47 years in government put in perspective – Joe Biden has been in government a bit more than 19% (almost one fifth for the math challenged) of the time the US has been a country.

        CommoChief in reply to Andy. | September 29, 2020 at 8:26 pm

        As far as it goes, even Obama told Biden ‘Joe, you don’t have to do this’.

        He chose this course. Just like some random loudmouth, if I can convince them not to fight me I am more than happy to walk away. When that same person decides to INSIST upon a fight…well ok then, we going to have a fight. It may not turn out like you wanted but that’s not my problem.

        Biden decided that he had to enter a modern Presidential race. The stakes are high and the blows fierce. He could still walk away. If not then he takes his chances at being embarrassed.

      Grizzly, I understand completely, but the spin doctors will be in turbo mode with their excuses if Biden has any kind of problem. It wouldn’t be a pretty sight but The Bride and I will watch on CSPAN so we won’t have to tolerate the talking heads telling us what they “meant” when we heard it for ourselves.

      I’ve said a hundred times I don’t wish ill to Biden or anyone else, but that has nothing to do with the fact I consider his (or his keepers’) policies to be very bad for the future of the nation and, by extension, the world.

      If something funky happens to cable access, we have a backup antenna. If power, a generator. Pardon my paranoia.

So Biden needs a boost every thirty minutes? Trump should try and delay the debates by 20 minutes, so old Joe is almost out of gas before he starts.

It doesn’t matter what Trump asks or demands.
The answer will be the same, if they bother answering at all.
It doesn’t matter though.
Trump will make the best of it.

    I’ve seen reports that Team Biden had previously agreed to the ear inspection, but now are backing out.

      The Friendly Grizzly in reply to Neo. | September 29, 2020 at 12:38 pm

      Maybe they are afraid that when someone shines a light in Biden’s ear, the person standing on the other side will be temporarily blinded.

So instead of simply agreeing to the request for inspection to eliminate the use of an ear bud and putting the issue to bed Biden instead fans the flames by refusing?

Way to build up belief in what your surrogates are calling a ‘conspiracy theory’.

Also Biden can’t hold his water? He requested a potty break every 30 minutes. That doesn’t help diffuse the ‘Sleepy Joe, Joe is old and past it’ narratives.

Who the heck is advising you? Good grief. Joe send me one tenth the aggregate salary you are wasting for bad advice and I can at least attempt to keep you out of own goals.

    DaveGinOly in reply to CommoChief. | September 29, 2020 at 2:30 pm

    If it were just potty breaks, they could put him in Depends. In fact, if they want to show Joe has stamina, but can’t hold his pee, that’s what I’d have him do if I was managing his campaign. It would be worth it for the demonstration of stamina. So what if he can’t hold it? Something else may be going on here.

This is funny! Political entertainment at its best!

THIS, and the clueless reaction of people like Media Matters, is why President Trump will win.

Ya know, isn’t this the same person who cheated his way through law school and thinks laws are only for the “little people”.

OF COURSE Joe and his handlers are going to cheat! Anyone remember the fable about the frog, the scorpion, and the river?

I think Chris Wallace could defuse the whole issue by having a portable signal jammer at each podium. It wouldn’t hurt (or be unfair) if DJT had one in his pocket, since they have a 15 meter range.

Of course, Trump could have an electronic communication expert look for and jammed any earpieces worn by Biden.

    Paul in reply to Neo. | September 29, 2020 at 12:38 pm

    Let Gropey Joe have his earpiece, but monitor it and then jam it at critical moments.

    DaveGinOly in reply to Neo. | September 29, 2020 at 2:33 pm

    Not jam. Override. Override Team Joe’s transmissions with nonsensical answers to the debate questions. Joe will either recite what he hears or will be so confused by the nonsense that he won’t be able to formulate his own reply.

    And if the media discovers the operation? So what. They’d have to expose Joe to complain about it.

    The heck with that! Hijack the frequency and feed Biden with all sorts of crazy!

    CommoChief in reply to Neo. | September 29, 2020 at 4:53 pm

    Guys I know you are being sarcastic (mostly), but the Fed Communications Comm frowns upon possession and use of devices that interfere with the frequency spectrum.

    Doing it is simple. Getting away with it is more difficult. Depends on broadcast time and how soon someone figures it out.

    The military personnel from WH Comms, who are part of every advance team for POTUS or the Sec Service could easily disrupt or hijack the transmission. Piece of cake.

This has nothing to do with Biden, but everything to do with the Trojan Horse, Kamala Harris.

This is frightening.

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | September 29, 2020 at 1:04 pm

For your consideration:

Jon Hamill takes you behind the scenes and beyond the veil to see the real agendas and untold stories of Washington, D.C.

Eastwood Ravine | September 29, 2020 at 1:07 pm

Ace of Spades had an update that Leftist staffers have been “leaked” to the Biden campaign. As far as the ear device inspection, just have someone using a radio frequency jammer.

I would like to think that the Trump campaign is sophisticated enough to say “Sure Joe, we won’t do ear inspections”, and then, during the debate, have a transmitter that provides Joe with, um, some ‘new’ talking points. Rather than just jamming as commenter Eastwood Ravine suggests, provide some new ‘answers’ for questions.

Imagine the fun one could have!

    DaveGinOly in reply to stevewhitemd. | September 29, 2020 at 2:34 pm

    I see you beat me to the punch! Great minds think alike. Or, as I like to say, “To defeat evil people, you must think like an evil person.”

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | September 29, 2020 at 1:32 pm

Breaking. Does anyone know about the validity of this article on Zero Hedge oh, it just went up there on their website.

Trump Campaign Releases “17 Questions Joe Biden Must Answer In The Debate”

“Is that the only time you’ve said the N-word?”

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | September 29, 2020 at 1:33 pm

Breaking at Zero Hedge Fund website.

Trump Campaign Rejects Biden Request For Debate Break Every 30 Mins,

Demands ‘Ear-Piece’ Inspections

The Dems would have been better off running crooked Hillary again. This is a can’t miss debate tonight. Very telling if they want breaks every 30 minutes and are backtracking on the earpiece check.

Trump’s debate team needs to hold their ground and no breaks. Even if Biden has an earpiece, he won’t be able to go 90 minutes without a gaffe made somehow, somewhere. The stress is going to get to him, and he’ll be recovering from this debate for days. Betting dollars to donuts he won’t show for the final two.

The rules and traditions have been carried down for years. Blank paper and pens are okay. The debaters are checked for notes and electronic devices out on the podiums. Why not check for other electronic devices around necks and in ears? It seems reasonable.

Sure Republicans wouldn’t embarrass themselves by using hidden jamming equipment. Trump is not a Republican and if he followed Republican decorum, he would have seen the same results Romney and McCain did.

What will be amusing will be Trump hovering over Biden looking into his ears during the debate. Maybe that was what he was doing when Hillary was debating him???

This may be the most entertaining debate in history. No doubt it will be the most watched.

    DanJ1 in reply to DanJ1. | September 29, 2020 at 1:41 pm

    I was just thinking. Wasn’t there a slight controversy over somebody looking at notes or checking a phone during a break? Anybody else remember this?

Read on some other site. They should jam ol Joes earpiece and then he would simply repeat the static that he heard.

What is to prevent Biden from allowing the inspection, and then having his handlers put the earpiece in when the inspection is over?

I don’t think the Dems care any more about these “debates” than they do about in-person campaigning. Their focus is on stealing the vote in swing states. The cheating even here in Texas is unprecedented, especially in Houston (naturally).

Biden needs those breaks so he can run back stage and sniff some 12 year old girl for a quick pick-me-up !!

Biden would be easily defeated in a summit with Putin or Xi. All Putin or Xi would have to do is bring a couple of 12 year old girls to the table with them, and what’s left of Biden wouldn’t be able to concentrate.

Go easy on poor ol’ Joe. He’s probably just afraid someone getting that close to him might try to sniff his hair or something…

Biden’s camp will back out of tonight’s debate citing “Trump’s refusal” to agree to the breaks, as cover for their own refusal to agree to the earphone checks.

Anyone else remember a conspiracy theory that Bush wore a wire in the 2004 debate?

    stevewhitemd in reply to pablo panadero. | September 29, 2020 at 2:53 pm

    I do — it was all the rage in lefty circles there for a bit. Photos, analysis, all that. Of course, if you try to bring that up to them today they’ll shove it all down the memory hole.

This debate will wrap up as soon as Biden tries to make a phone call on the microphone. I hear his team requested that an old vinyl-record player be available so Joe can watch the debates on it later tonight.

I have absolutely no doubt that the questions have been sent to the Biden campaign about a month ago, and they’ve been working up 90 minutes of blinding wit and clever phrasing for Joe to echo tonight with all the breaks they’ve been taking.

An epic fail would be nice to see. What I’m really concerned about is if Joe collapses on stage, taken away in an ambulance, and the Dems go into double-down mode by blaming Trump for the episode and begging voters to ‘Vote early for Joe! He’s counting on you!’

Okay, folks, I am going to risk making a knowledgeable comment here, drawing on my past career as a telecommunications analyst. God help me. LOL

For starters, “remote wireless coaching” is much more common than most people realize. Most applications are fairly legitimate, an example being supplying singers and actors with lyrics and lines. Music fans have been known to use scanners to pick up the coaching. It’s also common at international summits where leaders are discussing complex subjects.

The problem with using it in debates is obvious: Debates are primarily a chance for voters to ascertarian how the candidates think on their feet. It’s often not so much the issues themselves, because those change, but rather how the candidates deal with them. Off-stage coaching interferes with all of this; if it were allowed, it should be explicit, and the coaching should be revealed in real time.

Now to the technology. In 2004, George W. Bush was credibly accused of being coached this way. There are photos of the receiver that he wore, and there were a couple instances of him seeming to talk back to his remote coach.

To imagine how it works, think of a cellphone “paired” to a vehicle’s hands-free system that uses Bluetooth within the vehicle to allow the driver to hear the other party through the audio speakers, and a microphone near the sun visor to talk back.

A remote coaching setup is considerably simpler, because it’s one-way. No need for power-consuming circuitry that regulates transmission power to and from a cellsite and a moving vehicle. No need for the earpiece to be able to support two-way communication, which means it can be much lighter and smaller than the ones people often use with cellphones.

A day or two ago, I looked up the frequencies that remote coaching would likely use. They are lower than most cellular frequencies, which matters because the lower the frequency the longer the reach and the greater the ability to penetrate walls. Thus, in tonight’s debate, a remote coach can be quite far away, i.e. not in the immediate vicinity of the debate hall.

The remote coach’s “cellsite” (with only one “customer”) broadcasts at a fairly high power level to the receiver on the politician’s body. It is similar to a cellphone, which like a cellsite decrypts the encrypted content. The final hop is via Bluetooth to the earpiece. Because this is all one-way, the device on the politician’s body and in his ear can be very small — much smaller than what George W. Bush wore in 2004, on account of the ongoing miniaturization of electronic devices of all kinds.

The hop from the receiver to the earpiece is also very low-powered, making it virtually impossible to detect. Finally, and I’m shakier on this (long story) it’s possible that the “earpiece” could be as small as the tip of a ballpoint pen, making it undetectable in an ear exam unless the examiner had a camera attached to a tiny fiberoptic cable. Even then, it might be iffy.

How to handle it, if you’re Team Trump and think Team Biden is remotely coaching your opponent? Easy, because the same technology that makes it easy for Team Biden makes it easy for Team Trump.

For starters, you don’t hope to break into a transmission, because only a real moron would fail to use a) encryption, and b) channel hopping. Your tactic would be to block all the frequencies, but to do this intermittently and from several directions, reducing the chances of detection and especially pinpointing. Off-on, off-on, unpredictable intervals.

It’s fascinating to me that Team Trump is publicly asking for an ear exam, given that it’s efficacy may well be dubious. (I say that because I’m not rock-solid certain that the ultra-miniature in-ear component exists; I only saw a presentation about a prototype, and don’t know if it came to fruition.)

All I can think is that this might be Team Trump’s way of signaling to Team Biden that they know what Team Biden is up to, and that their secret squirrels will be fucking with that remote wireless link. Call it psy-ops.

    Dusty Pitts in reply to RandomCrank. | September 29, 2020 at 4:24 pm

    only a real moron would fail to use a) encryption, and b) channel hopping.

    So you’re saying Biden’s coaching would be easy to break in on…   😉

      RandomCrank in reply to Dusty Pitts. | September 29, 2020 at 5:57 pm

      I’m saying that they’ve have to be five-star idiots to fail to encrypt the traffic. As much as I disdain them, I would be genuinely surprised if they were THAT stupid.

    DaveGinOly in reply to RandomCrank. | September 29, 2020 at 4:36 pm

    “The hop from the receiver to the earpiece is also very low-powered, making it virtually impossible to detect.”

    This is the link you’d disrupt. Not the high-powered, encrypted link from the transmitter, but the link between the on-body receiver and the ear piece. As you say, it’s very low-powered, so it would take little power (at the target) to disrupt.

      RandomCrank in reply to DaveGinOly. | September 29, 2020 at 6:08 pm

      A lot harder to disrupt the Bluetooth frequencies. They’re in the 2.4GHz band, which doesn’t easily propagate through walls. This means that the jammer would have to be in the room, which I have to think would be a dicey proposition.

      The other links will operate in roughly the 0.5-0.7 GHz bands (my check was somewhat cursory, but I’m reasonably certain at least as a first take). Those waves a) go through walls, and b) can travel significant distances, enabling remote wireless coaching.

      Keep in mind that, if Biden were doing this and using the setup I describe (which I strongly believe they’d use), his “cellphone” would only receive the low frequencies, and would broadcast a very faint Bluetooth signal.

      You can try it out yourself if you have an in-vehicle hands-free setup. Try pairing your cellphone to it. Then make a call, and leave your vehicle. You will go off of Bluetooth within 10 or 15 feet.

      In the setup I’m suggesting, the Bluetooth link between the “cellphone” and the earpiece would be much fainter and would operate only within maybe 10 feet or less. I am familiar with that, having recently set up a weather station link that required a one-time Bluetooth connection. It worked only within a couple feet.

      Bottom line: If I’m the secret squirrel jammer, I jam the main link, not the Bluetooth hop. At least that’s how I’d do it based on what I know. If there are any other radio weenies in here who can knowledgeably contradict me, I am ALWAYS amenable to facts and logic, and have and will change my opinion if those things line up in a different direction.

      RandomCrank in reply to DaveGinOly. | September 29, 2020 at 6:19 pm

      I might add that the jamming I recommend is illegal. Trump would have to be insulated from direct knowledge. If the squirrels were caught, there’s always a pardon. LOL

        CommoChief in reply to RandomCrank. | September 29, 2020 at 7:01 pm

        Fully endorse this position. You shouldn’t do it but if you must do it then be damn sure you don’t get caught.

          RandomCrank in reply to CommoChief. | September 29, 2020 at 7:43 pm

          I was thinking of real-world ways they could get caught. One would be if the FCC is in Cleveland watching for it. I frankly do not know what their capabilities are, only that they are capable. That’s why if I were the secret squirrel, I’d do it intermittently.

          Another way to be caught would be for Team Biden to complain. All disrespect aside, you don’t get that far by being that stupid. LOL

          A third way would be if Team Biden were to use not the dedicated frequencies for that remote coaching gear, but simply outfitted him with a cellphone with the last hop Bluetooth to an earpiece. If I’m Team Trump’s secret squirrel, I’d consider the possibility and prepare to jam ordinary cellphone frequencies at 2.3 GHz and below.

          I don’t live anywhere near Cleveland, so the following information is only national-generic, but all of the big guys (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular) operate at lower frequencies. Exactly where, I don’t know. So if I’m the secret squirrel and jamming the frequencies normally used for this remote coaching stuff didn’t seem to make Joe tilt his head like a confused puppy, I’d jam the regular lower cellular frequencies.

          If we hear reports of malfunctioning cellphones while the debate is taking place, this will be why. By the way, given that they’re holding the debate near or on the campus of the Cleveland Clinic, a major hospital, if I’m Team Trump’s secret squirrel I’d do some research on interference with medical equipment. I don’t think it’s an issue anymore, but I’d still want to know.

          Spy vs Spy. Let the games begin! LOL

          CommoChief in reply to CommoChief. | September 29, 2020 at 8:16 pm

          Maybe simpler is better? Last minute ‘sweep’ of personnel by Sec SVC putting the outside and required electronics dump? A very PHYSICAL layer inspection.

          Transmission strength can’t be too high or it becomes easier to detect…so source be close.

          Personally, I prefer straight intercept and then expose it afterward. As you say all the spy v spy gets tedious and can be way over thought leading to error. KISS.

Trump’s team should transmit an ear-splitting shriek on the same frequency as Joe’s ear bud.

    RandomCrank in reply to Toad-O. | September 29, 2020 at 6:13 pm

    I think that’d be a lot more problematical than you think. There are LOTS of frequencies for this equipment, and the jammer would need to broadcast that tone on each channel.

    If Biden’s people used spread spectrum for the main link (and it’s impossible for anyone to know in advance), it would be even harder because of the nature of spread-spectrum transmissions. The long explanation will bore the piss out of you.

    So no, you simply block all of the frequencies so Biden hears NOTHING. If anyone could do better than that, we’re talking a level of sophistication that I really doubt Team Trump has easily at hand.

      CommoChief in reply to RandomCrank. | September 29, 2020 at 6:54 pm

      Or maybe monitor, record, produce transcript for release with a running video of Biden with synchronized clock……

      You made my day with your tech geek speak, been a while….

We all know Biden has the questions in advance. Just like Hillary Clinton got them.

Eastwood Ravine | September 29, 2020 at 4:28 pm

Had another thought on Biden asking for two breaks at the 30 minute marks. The Trump campaign should say “no” as they have, but add that if Biden needs to step out to use the bathroom, get an injection, or take a pill, he’s welcome to do so, but President Trump will be continue with the debate regardless.

I fully expect excrement to emanate from all the orifices of dim-witted, dotard-marionette, Biden.

I wonder if there’s a way to make the earpiece rapidly overheat so Hidin’ Biden would have to rip it out onstage.

Biden has been debating for nearly half a century, so I wouldn’t completely write him off

    Dusty Pitts in reply to MarkS. | September 29, 2020 at 6:04 pm

    He’s a master at it.

    RandomCrank in reply to MarkS. | September 29, 2020 at 6:14 pm

    Neither would I. There’s no small risk for Trump if he lets Biden get under his skin and starts ranting.

      Arminius in reply to RandomCrank. | September 29, 2020 at 6:57 pm

      If anybody gets under anybody’s skin, Trump will get under Biden’s.

      Biden has a temper and it’s getting worse (one of the symptoms of both Alzheimer’s and dementia, I’m told).

      I can hardly wait for Biden to challenge Trump to a push-up contest, to step outside and fight, or call him a “lyin’ dog faced pony soldier.”

      You know, how Biden acts when voters get under his skin.

        RandomCrank in reply to Arminius. | September 29, 2020 at 7:52 pm

        Frankly, I think the most likely outcome is that they are both coherent, in which case the media will declare Biden the winner. The only way they do otherwise is if Biden melts into a puddle, including an eyeball explosion. For his sake, I hope whatever drugs they’ve fed him don’t raise his blood pressure too high. LOL

Do Biden’s ears look lopsided in the above picture?

It is not an optical illusion. Compare his right ear lob from last night with previous pictures showing his right ear lobe.

Either he has had an undisclosed surgery or it is a flesh-looking earpiece!