- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 1, 2020

Trump campaign officials accused the leaders of the Commission on Presidential Debates on Thursday of being Washington “swamp monsters” who are trying to help Democratic nominee Joseph R. Biden by changing the rules of the next two debates.

Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said several commission members have donated to Democratic candidates over the years or made comments critical of President Trump. He ridiculed the commission for describing itself as “nonpartisan.”

“Joe Biden is a creature of this city,” Mr. Stepien said of Washington. “That’s exactly who runs this commission.”

Trump campaign senior adviser Jason Miller said the Trump team does not want “any changes to what has already been laid out” for the debates.

“We have not asked for any changes; the Biden camp has,” he said. “It [the first debate] didn’t turn out the way that they wanted. We think President Trump did absolutely fantastic.”

The commission is reportedly considering allowing the moderator to cut off the microphone of a candidate during the time reserved for his rival. Mr. Trump interrupted Mr. Biden dozens of times during their first debate Tuesday.

The president tweeted on Thursday that he won’t agree to any rule changes, and that he won the first debate.

Mr. Trump’s advisers say they expect the president to attend the next two debates, on Oct. 15 and 22.

Mr. Stepien criticized commission chairman Frank Fahrenkopf for giving an interview in Nantucket Magazine in 2016 in which he referred to Trump voters as not necessarily voting for “the smartest person.”

He said commissioner Dorothy Ridings has donated at least $9,000 to Democratic candidates over the years, and commissioner Kenneth Wollack has donated at least $5,000 to Democrats.

Among board members, they cited former Democratic Rep. Jane Harman of California as saying she was “appalled” by Mr. Trump, and former Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine, who said Mr. Trump was “absolutely hurting our [GOP] brand.”

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