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Time delays, Adderall and earpieces: Trump and right-wing media spread conspiracy theories before Biden debate

Donald Trump, his allies and right-wing media are whipping up conspiracy theories that his rival Joe Biden is using amphetamines, slamming Mountain Dew and using a secret earpiece for their 2024 debate.

Other bogus claims have accused debate host network CNN of delaying the broadcast by up to two minutes.

In a now-deleted post on X that was shared thousands of times, Donald Trump Jr falsely claimed that CNN is delaying the tape and that the president is “jacked up” on drugs.

House Speaker Mike Johnson even suggested Biden is downing “a whole gallon of energy drinks” to prepare for Thursday night’s debate, while other GOP members have accused the president of taking “mind-altering stimulants” or getting his aides to “jack him up on Mountain Dew.”

“How much Adderall are they going to give him?” South Carolina Republican Representative Nancy Mace said on Newsmax on Thursday. “How many vitamins is he gonna be on?”

Unsubstantiated claims targeting Democratic candidates before the debates are nothing new – bogus conspiracy theories about performance-enhancing drugs and illicit “earpieces” have been a part of the right-wing media playbook for the last two decades.

The latest batch of evidence-free claims – an apparent attempt to preemptively discredit Biden before he takes the stage – have also attacked CNN, while ignoring the fact that Trump’s campaign has agreed to the terms of the debate set by the network.

But they join a long-running campaign to spread bogus statements in the hopes that media outlets pick them up to debunk them, thereby legitimizing them.

Republican Representative Andy Ogles of Tennessee – who even introduced a “No Juicing Joe” bill – said the president should be required to report “every time he takes a

Read more on independent.co.uk