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Photos: Jim Watson and Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Commission on Presidential Debates announced Wednesday that it plans to implement changes to rules for the remaining debates, after Tuesday night's head-to-head between Joe Biden and Donald Trump was practically incoherent for most of the night.

What they are saying: "Last night's debate made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues," the CPD said in a statement.

  • The CPD said it would announce the new rules shortly, and that the commission "intends to ensure that additional tools to maintain order are in place for the remaining debates."

Driving the news: The debate was chaotic, to say the least, as Trump ignored the rules and spouted a series of claims, lies and denials throughout the evening. As Axios' Mike Allen wrote: "At literally no point was there an agreed-upon baseline of facts upon which to debate policy."

  • The two men often broke into open insults of each other.
  • Pundits called it a "dark event."

The most headline-grabbing moment of the evening came when Trump refused to explicitly condemn white supremacist groups and told the Proud Boys, a Southern Poverty Law Center designated hate group, to "stand back and stand by."

What they're saying: “They’re only doing this because their guy got pummeled last night," said Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh. "President Trump was the dominant force and now Joe Biden is trying to work the refs. They shouldn’t be moving the goalposts and changing the rules in the middle of the game."

Go deeper

Updated Aug 18, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Axios-NewsWhip 2020 attention tracker library

31 mins ago - Technology

Ex-N.Y. Post digital chief files lawsuit alleging sexual harassment

Richard B. Levine) (Photo by Richard Levine/Corbis via Getty Images

Former New York Post editor Michelle Gotthelf is suing her former employer, its parent company News Corp. and two editors, alleging she was reprimanded after complaining to senior executives that she was sexually harassed by retired N.Y. Post editor-in-chief Col Allan. The N.Y. Post issued a statement denying any wrongdoing.

Why it matters: "I felt that I owed it to myself and I owed it to the news organization and the people who answered to me," Gotthelf, who was a long time editor at the N.Y. Post, told Axios in an interview.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Political consultants pocket taxpayer cash

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Members of Congress are turning to the same political consultants who got them elected to blast out taxpayer-funded communications from their government offices, records show.

Why it matters: While those members are barred from politicking with official funds, the firms have expertise in boosting elected officials' images for political gain and are in high demand for both campaign and government work.

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