What Time Does the Presidential Debate Start?

President Joe Biden and Former President Donald Trump will take the stage tonight for a historic presidential debate, hosted exclusively by CNN.

Anchors Jake Tapper and Dana Bash will moderate the debate, held in the network’s Atlanta studios. The rematch will be available to watch on all CNN cable channels, but cord-cutters can stream on Max. CNN has also allowed competing broadcasters to simulcast the highly-anticipated debate with some stipulations, prohibiting anchor commentary during commercial breaks.

The 90-minute debate will kick off Thursday night at 9 p.m. ET.

In addition to simulcast restrictions, the network has introduced new rules unique to this rematch. There will be no live audience. Candidates’ microphones will be silenced during the other speaker’s allotted time. And, the candidates will be prohibited from using props or pre-written notes.

The new rules are an attempt to keep the debate civil, according to the network. However, many journalists feel jaded by the lack of access to the debate room and to report what goes on off-camera, something they believe to be their duty and their right.

“WHCA is deeply concerned that CNN has rejected our repeated requests to include the White House travel pool inside the studio.  Through conversations and advocacy, we urged CNN to grant access to at least one print pool reporter for the duration of the debate, WHCA has been informed that one print reporter will be permitted to enter the studio during a commercial break to briefly observe the setting,” a Thursday memo from Kelly O’Donnell, president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, read.

“That is not sufficient in our view and diminishes a core principle of presidential coverage. The White House pool has a duty to document, report and witness the president’s events and his movements on behalf of the American people.”

We will be providing live updates throughout the debate.

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