Harris agrees to debate future Trump vice presidential pick

Vice President Kamala Harris has agreed to debate Donald Trump’s future running mate, a Biden campaign official told CNN Thursday.

The Biden campaign informed CBS News it had accepted the network’s invitation to participate in a vice presidential debate in studio on either of the two dates the outlet proposed, July 23 or August 13, the campaign official said.

“We look forward to the Trump campaign accepting one of these dates so that the full debate calendar for this campaign can be set,” the official added.

The proposed date of July 23 would come less than a week after the conclusion of the Republican convention in Milwaukee, giving Trump’s running mate limited time to prepare for a debate with Harris.

CNN has reached out to the Trump campaign about whether it would agree for his running mate to participate.

On Friday, Trump took to his Truth Social platform to announce that his campaign had accepted an invitation for his future running mate to participate in a debate hosted by Fox News and called on Harris to do the same.

But the Biden campaign indicated to CNN that Harris would not participate in Fox’s debate, pointing to the fact that the vice president had already accepted CBS’ invitation and referring CNN to an earlier statement by Biden campaign manager Jen O’Malley Dillon.

O’Malley Dillon specified that presidential and vice-presidential debates “should be hosted by any broadcast organization that hosted a Republican Primary debate in 2016 in which Donald Trump participated, and a Democratic primary debate in 2020 in which President Biden participated – so neither campaign can assert that the sponsoring organization is obviously unacceptable.” In the 2020 campaign cycle, the Democratic National Committee said Fox News would not host any Democratic primary debates, citing reporting in The New Yorker about the mutually beneficial relationship between Fox and the Trump administration.

Trump said in an interview that aired Thursday that there was a “pretty good chance” he would announce his vice presidential pick at the convention in Milwaukee.

“I don’t say anything’s a 100%, but you’re getting pretty close. I’ll be doing it in Milwaukee,” he told TMJ4 news.

Donald Trump Jr., the president’s oldest son who has been an advocate for his father picking Ohio Sen. JD Vance as his running mate, told the senator Thursday that “we should choose sooner than later, because I wanted that to be out there right now.”

Trump Jr. was speaking on his “Triggered” podcast. Vance indicated that if he received that call from the former president, he’d take the job.

“I want to help your dad however I can,” the senator told Trump Jr. “Certainly, if he asked me, I want to help him.”

On Wednesday, President Joe Biden and Trump accepted an invitation from CNN to debate on June 27, a historically early showdown that will set the tone for the final months of the 2024 campaign. They have also agreed to a debate on ABC News on September 10.

Informal conversations between the Biden and Trump campaigns about debates had taken place in recent weeks and were largely focused on a mutual disdain for the Commission on Presidential Debates and potential scenarios to work around the commission, three sources familiar with the discussions previously told CNN.

For millions of Americans, the debates will represent the most extensive scrutiny they’ll be able to give the candidates and their running mates since the debates leading up to the 2020 election.

Harris this year has become a key figure for the Biden administration and campaign, criss-crossing the country to make points that might be more difficult for the president – an older White man – to make himself.

Her efforts have included serving as the administration’s point person on abortion rights, becoming the first sitting president or vice president to visit an abortion provider and traveling to states such as Florida and Arizona, where new court rulings and laws have thrown into doubt the future of abortion access there.

This story has been updated with additional information.

CNN’s Betsy Klein, Michael Williams and Kristen Holmes contributed to this report.

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