23 Oct 2020

US election: Trump and Biden to meet in final presidential debate

8:24 am on 23 October 2020

US President Donald Trump has taken the "unprecedented decision" to release footage of his interview with CBS's 60 Minutes programme - decrying the "bias, hatred and rudeness" shown towards him.

Donald Trump made his first public appearance since returning to the White House from a three-day stay in hospital for Covid-19 earlier in the day.

Donald Trump. Photo: AFP / 2020 Getty Images

It comes as Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden meet for their final presidential debate this afternoon.

The president has complained for days about his treatment during the interview. The footage released shows a staff member off-camera saying there are five minutes left in the interview, before Trump says "I think we have enough of an interview here, that's enough".

The interviewer had pressed the president on the economy, the pandemic, and his plans for healthcare.

CBS, which was due to broadcast the interview this weekend, said in a statement that the White House's "unprecedented decision to disregard their agreement ... will not deter 60 Minutes from providing its full, fair and contextual reporting which presidents have participated in for decades".

Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden and President Donald Trump.

Joe Biden and Donald Trump. Photo: AFP

Also ahead of the debate, US Senate judiciary committee has approved a confirmation vote next Tuesday for Amy Coney Barrett - Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court left vacant by the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The process was boycotted by the 10 Democrats on the committee, who say the protest has been rushed, and that the seat should stay empty until the presidential election.

All 12 Republican committee members, including chair Lindsay Graham, voted in favour.

The appointment of Barrett would mark a major swing in the ideological balance of the court - potentially for decades.

In an address outside the senate, Democratic Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer said the vote was a sham.

The US Presidential debate in Nashville begins at 2pm. Follow the final showdown between the candidates on RNZ's live blog this afternoon.

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