U.S. President Joe Biden and his predecessor Donald Trump said Wednesday they will go head-to-head in their first presidential debate for the upcoming election on June 27, with CNN set to host.

The first face-off will be held at an unusually early date, even before the Democrats formally nominate Biden and the Republicans Trump at their respective national conventions in August and July.

The debate will take place in a TV studio with no live audience as requested by Biden, who apparently wanted to avoid a circus-like atmosphere that Trump has been known to create.

Combined photo shows U.S. President Joe Biden (L) and his predecessor Donald Trump. (Getty/Kyodo)

In addition, the two presumptive presidential nominees said they have agreed to an additional one-on-one debate to be hosted by ABC News on Sept. 10. While deciding on the two showdowns, the main candidates for the Nov. 5 election have said they will not take part in fall debates that have been sponsored for decades by a nonpartisan commission.

As polls have shown that large numbers of U.S. voters are unhappy with the prospect of a rematch between Biden and Trump, the two men's decisions to greenlight the earlier-than-usual debates reflect their desire to seize the upper hand before moving into the final phase of the race.

"Donald Trump lost two debates to me in 2020. Since then, he hasn't shown up for a debate. Now he's acting like he wants to debate me again. Well, make my day, pal," Biden said in a video message on X, formerly called Twitter, adding "I'll even do it twice."

In the message, posted before the two sides formally agreed to the debates, Biden also took a jab at Trump for the criminal cases he faces, one of which has recently kept him busy four days a week as he fights hush money payment allegations in New York.

"So let's pick the dates, Donald. I hear you're free on Wednesdays," said the 81-year-old Democratic incumbent, who is struggling in polls against Trump.

On his social media platform, Truth Social, the 77-year-old Trump, who did not appear at any of his party's debates during the Republican primaries, proposed having more than two presidential debates and "for excitement purposes, a very large venue, although Biden is supposedly afraid of crowds."

In response, Biden campaign chair Jen O'Malley Dillon said in a statement, "President Biden made his terms clear for two one-on-one debates, and Donald Trump accepted those terms. No more games. No more chaos, no more debate about debates."

The Biden campaign had sought to wrap up the presidential debates around early September when early voting starts.

Since 1988, the Commission on Presidential Debates has organized debates in each U.S. presidential election cycle, but for 2024 it has been sidelined.

The Biden campaign proposed that a separate vice-presidential debate be organized in July, after Trump and his yet-to-be-chosen running mate are officially nominated at the Republican convention in Milwaukee.

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