President Donald Trump and his campaign objected Thursday to the Commission on Presidential Debates making changes to the rules for his second and third face-offs against Democrat Joe Biden.
'Why would I allow the Debate Commission to change the rules for the second and third Debates when I easily won last time?' Trump tweeted Thursday afternoon as he traveled to his Bedminster, New Jersey resort for campaign events.
That was echoed in a call with reporters with Campaign Manager Bill Stepien and senior adviser Jason Miller, who attacked the Commission as a partisan entity, pointing out that even some of the Republicans on its board of directors had said negative things about Trump.
'Rather than a cross section of America, this group very much comes across as what you might see at an evening gala at the Metropolitan Club in D.C.,' Miller said. 'For the most part, these are permanent swamp monsters.'
The Trump campaign officials claimed only the Biden campaign had requested changes be made to the rules, including letting moderator Steve Scully turn off the candidates' microphones.
Tuesday night's debate was marked by interruptions and name-calling, with the president blasting moderator Chris Wallace for, in his view, coddling Biden for trying to rein in the back-and-forth.
On Thursday, Wallace appeared on Fox News Channel and called the debate a 'total mess' and 'disservice ... to the country,' adding that Trump 'bears the responsibility for what happened on Tuesday.'
'I think he would have been well advised to pull back and let Biden talk more because Biden's answers weren't always great,' Wallace said. 'In fact, I think if the president had stepped back and let Biden give his answers he could have been more effective in picking them apart.'
President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday, 'Why would I allow the Debate Commission to change the rules for the second and third Debates when I easily won last time?'
The Trump campaign firmly came out against any rule changes for the second and third debate, following up Trump's tweet with a press call where they suggested the Commission on Presidential Debates was biased in favor of Joe Biden
The next presidential debate may give moderator Steve Scully of C-SPAN the ability to turn off President Donald Trump's microphone
The Commission on Presidential Debates is weighing new rules for President Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden - which neither campaign would be allowed to negotiate
Steve Scully might be little known to those who do not tune in to C-SPAN but to those who do he is known for his scrupulous evenhandedness.
Scully, 60, is the network's senior executive producer and political editor, and for viewers, the host of Washington Journal, its morning call-in show.
Although it does not attract mass ratings it is vital viewing for political insiders trying to take the temperature of the nation, as well as a place for political figures to appear if they want to try to set the D.C. agenda.
Most of all it is TV's only national call-in show on politics. Callers are screened by ideology with separate numbers for Republicans, Democrats and independents, and often express robust and unexpected views.
The Trump campaign's belief it could win in the mid-West was partly based on disaffected former Obama supporters calling in to Washington Journal.
Scully is known for his calm approach, never expressing a personal view, and his ability to listen. Comedian John Oliver called him 'the most patient man in television.'
He has been C-Span political editor since 1990, having worked in local television.
Scully's political views are unknown but he did however volunteer for the Jimmy Carter campaign in 1976, aged 16, and worked for Joe Biden, as a mail room intern in 1978 and Ted Kennedy as a media intern in 1979 - both before he graduated college.
He has said he was brought up with a Republican father and Democratic mother and since becoming a journalist, has never been known to express a partisan view.
A devout Catholic father of four with wife Katie, he is the 14th of 16 children from Erie, PA - his parents had five sets of twins - and is on the board of two charities for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, having lost a baby daughter in 1996.
The two candidates will face each other next on October 15 in Miami for a town-hall style debate moderated by the C-SPAN host.
The rules of engagement will be different at that meeting, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced Wednesday, in an attempt to curb the chaos from Tuesday night's debate, which was compared to a dumpster fire.
The two-week window gives the commission some breathing room to consider their options.
One getting serious consideration is giving the moderator the ability to mute the president, according to reports.
The Trump campaign confirmed this was discussed, along with having the candidates give opening and closing statements and cutting down on the time allotted for 'open discussion,' which sometimes devolved Tuesday night into name-calling.
Whatever the new rules are the campaigns will have no say in them.
That has the Trump campaign pushing that the debate commission and the Biden campaign are working in lockstep.
But campaign officials pushed back on the idea that their objections amounted to a boycotting threat.
'President Trump fully plans on participating in and winning both the second and third debates and the presidential contest here,' Miller said.
The campaigns will be informed of the new rules but they will not be subject to negotiation, a source told CBS News.
It appears the initial rules will remain in place for the vice presidential debate in Salt Lake City on Tuesday between Mike Pence and Kamala Harris.
Wallace, the Fox News host who moderated the first debate, said he feared not even muting Trump's microphone would have stopped the president from talking.
'As a practical matter,