Trump 2020 campaign senior adviser Steve Cortes accused the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) of playing “pandemic politics” Thursday after they announced that the second presidential debate, slated for Oct. 15, would be held in a virtual setting.
“The Commission on Presidential Debates has revealed itself as a corrupt and complicit swamp cabal,” Cortes told “Special Report” host Bret Baier. “They are trying to put their thumb on the scale in favor of Joe Biden. They are trying to protect him and, in fact, bail him out.”
The Commission announced the format change early on Thursday morning, hours after the vice presidential debate between Vice President Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., in Salt Lake City
“Instead of us spending the day talking about what was revealed about the radical agenda of Kamala Harris, instead — without any consultation, zero, with our campaign — the commission makes a unilateral decision to make it a virtual debate, with no medical justification,” Cortes added.
TRUMP SAYS HE’S ‘NOT GOING TO WASTE’ HIS TIME ON VIRTUAL DEBATE
The format change was announced six days after the president announced he and first lady Melania Trump had tested positive for the coronavirus. The positive test came a little more than 48 hours after the first debate between Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden.
“They [the CPD] say they couldn’t get staff, they couldn’t get people to go to Miami because they were so concerned about the health of their own person,” Baier told Cortes. “The camera people, the staff that worked in Cleveland were revolting essentially, because the president, they believe, endangered them on that stage.”
BIDEN REACTS TO VIRTUAL DEBATE ANNOUNCEMENT
“You’re telling me we couldn’t find cameramen?” Cortes retorted. “No, I don’t buy that for one second. That is a ridiculous canard of an excuse — of course we could staff the debate.”
Cortes later told Baier that he hopes the commission will agree to push back the dates of the final two debates to Oct. 22 and Oct. 29.
“There is no reasonable way that anybody can try to use the pretext of COVID to say that we cannot have debates on October 22nd and 29th,” Cortes said. “They are trying to use — they are playing pandemic politics, Bret, and they are trying to use the disease as a beard to cover up for them, because the reality is Joe Biden does not want the transparency and he does not want to be physically on stage without any assistance.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
“We can’t trust him to do a zoom call from his basement where he could be assisted by teleprompters and staff,” he added. “No, if he wants to be the commander-in-chief of the greatest republic in history, he has to get on the stage himself and face off with Donald Trump.
Later Thursday, White House physician Dr. Sean Conley announced that he anticipated that Trump would be able to resume public engagements this weekend.