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Trump campaign wants to examine Biden's ears for electronic device before debate: Fox News

President TrumpDonald TrumpCIA chief threatened to resign over push to install Trump loyalist as deputy: report Azar in departure letter says Capitol riot threatens to 'tarnish' administration's accomplishments Justice Dept. argues Trump should get immunity from rape accuser's lawsuit MORE's campaign wants to have a third party examine both his and Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenAzar in departure letter says Capitol riot threatens to 'tarnish' administration's accomplishments House Democrats introduce measures to oppose Trump's bomb sale to Saudis On The Money: Retail sales drop in latest sign of weakening economy | Fast-food workers strike for minimum wage | US officials raise concerns over Mexico's handling of energy permits MORE's ears for electronic devices before Tuesday night's presidential debate, Fox News reported, part of an ongoing effort by the president's supporters to paint the former vice president as mentally incompetent.

The demand comes as part of a heated back-and-forth between the two campaigns in the hours before a debate that most expect to be nasty and personal.

It also comes after Trump spent the past week portraying Biden as a candidate beholden to his handlers and unable to stand on his own, suggesting repeatedly that Biden would be under the influence of performance enhancing substances during the debate and demanding that both candidates submit to a drug test before taking the stage.

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The president has said he is willing to participate in such an ear inspection and the Trump campaign claims Biden initially agreed to one as well, Fox News reported. A Trump campaign official also told Fox the Biden team has requested two breaks during Tuesday night's event, one every 30 minutes, but that the president's reelection campaign does not want them. 

"Our guy doesn't need breaks. He gives 90-minute speeches all the time," an unnamed campaign source told the outlet. 

During a pre-debate call with reporters on Tuesday, Biden spokesperson Kate Bedingfield shot down the Trump campaign's claims.

“Of course he’s not wearing an earpiece and we never asked for breaks," Bedingfield told reporters. "His staff seems concerned that he may not do well tonight and they’re already laying the groundwork to lie about why."

"It is pathetic, it’s weak, once again the Trump campaign is lying," she said. 

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In a tweet shortly thereafter, Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh shot back. 

"Joe Biden’s handlers several days ago agreed to a pre-debate inspection for electronic earpieces but today abruptly reversed themselves & declined," he said. "Biden asked for multiple breaks during the debate, which President Trump doesn’t need, so we have rejected that request."

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The Trump campaign did not immediately return a request from The Hill. The Commission on Presidential Debates also did not return a request for comment. 

Over the weekend, Trump suggested  that both candidates submit to a drug test before they take the stage. 

"I will be strongly demanding a Drug Test of Sleepy Joe Biden prior to, or after, the Debate on Tuesday night," Trump tweeted. "Naturally, I will agree to take one also. His Debate performances have been record setting UNEVEN, to put it mildly. Only drugs could have caused this discrepancy???"
 
 
Tuesday night's debate, which is slated to last 1.5 hours and is the first of three between the two candidates before the Nov. 3 election, is set to begin at 9 p.m. in Cleveland, Ohio. 

The event will be moderated by Fox News anchor Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceMulvaney: Earlier Trump controversies were 'policy differences' or 'stylistic,' but 'Wednesday was existential' Clyburn: House has responsibility to impeach Trump over Georgia call Fox's Chris Wallace: Pence 'chose the Constitution' over helping Trump MORE, whom Trump predicted will not ask sufficiently tough questions of Biden. 

“Chris is good, but I would be willing to bet that he won’t ask Biden tough questions. He will ask tough questions of me and it will be unfair, I have no doubt about it,” Trump said last week. “He will be controlled by the radical left.”

Biden has taken heat from critics in recent days for calling for a lid, a memorandum letting reporters know there will be no more public statements or appearances in order to prep for the Tuesday's debate.  

Max Greenwood contributed.