The first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden was marked by incessant interruptions, mud-slinging and unfounded claims from both contenders. Fox News host and moderator Chris Wallace was criticized for poorly handling the debate with many alleging he went soft on Biden.
This concern among conservatives that Wallace allegedly favored Biden over Trump during the debate was echoed a few hours before Tuesday night's debate in the form of a viral post. On Twitter, conservative radio host Todd Starnes wrote that Biden received the debate's questions in advance.
"Word on the street is that Joe Biden got tonight's debate questions in advance," Starnes tweeted.
PolitiFact noted that Starnes' allegation came from a Sep. 24 interview with Jerome Corsi, a conspiracy theorist who has come under fire for making several inaccurate statements.
"The information I've just gotten, and I think it's mostly it's always been accurate, is that Joe Biden has been given the questions from Fox's Chris Wallace," Corsi said during the interview. "He's being prepared on the exact questions, he's gonna be asked."
However, a Fox News spokesperson dismissed the claim with saying Wallace did not send Biden a set of questions before the debate. "This is entirely false and any assertion otherwise is patently absurd," the spokesperson said in a statement, according to PolitiFact.
This is not the first false claim involving Biden's first presidential debate that gained traction. After the debate, Twitter users alleged the 77-year-old Democrat wore a secret earpiece to get answers from his team during the debate. The claim was further bolstered by Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh who said Biden backed out on the initial agreement of getting inspected ahead of the of debate.
"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."
However, the Biden campaign denied the rumor and said he did not wear an earpiece during the debate. Furthermore, Twitter users too did not provide evidence of Biden using an electronic ear device.