Joe Biden was the first to interrupt his rival during the debate Thursday when he accused that President Donald Trump's faed money for farmers came from American taxpayers and not China.
NBC News' Kristen Welker, who moderated the final planned debate less than two weeks before the election, asked Trump what he is going to do to make China pay for transgressions against the U.S.
'China is paying, they're paying billions and billions of dollars. I just have $28 billion to our farmers –' Trump said more than half-an-hour into the debate – and then the first interruption was issued.
'Taxpayer's money,' Biden claimed.
Trump paused and looked at the former vice president with his mouth agape.
'It's what?' he asked.
'Taxpayer's money. It didn't come from China,' Biden repeated.
'No, no, yeah, you know the taxpayers – it's called China,' Trump said.
Biden assured: 'Not true.'
Democratic nominee Joe Biden was the first candidate to interrupt his rival during the debate in Nashville, Tennessee Thursday night – more than a half-an-hour into the final face-off before the election
Trump paused and looked at Biden when the former vice president accused money he had allocated toward famers came from American taxpayer money and not China, like the president claims
The Commission on Presidential Debates changed the organization of the debate so the microphones would be muted while the other candidate was giving a two-minute answer to the moderator's question
When he was given a chance to respond to Trump's answer, Biden said, 'There's a reason he's bringing up all this malarkey.'
'He doesn't want to talk about the substantive issue. It's not about his family and my family. It's about your family, and your family is hurting badly,' Biden said, shifting the conversation back to American families struggling financially, especially in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
The bipartisan Commission on Presidential Debates announced last week that the Nashville, Tennessee debate would operate under slightly different rules to prevent cross-talk and interruptions.
Alterations in the organization included muting the candidates' microphones after they were given their two minutes to respond to questions directly from the moderator. Otherwise, the candidates were permitted to engage in back-and-forth in responding to each others' claims.
The format proved for a more civilized debate, but it wasn't long until Trump and Biden devolved into personal attacks, specifically related to alleged foreign entanglements.
When Welker asked Biden what he would do to 'make China pay,' the former vice president said he would make the Asian nation 'play by the rules.'
'He embraces guys, the thugs like in North Korea and the Chinese President and Putin and others and he pokes his finger in the eye of all of our friends, all of our allies,' Biden accused of the president.
Trump then brought up the Biden family allegedly benefiting financially from China, according to new information revealed from the Democratic candidate's son, Hunter Biden's, laptop.
The debate Thursday was the second, and final, debate before Election Day – but it was supposed to be the third.
NBC News' Kristen Welker moderated the second and final debate, and spared the first interruption when asking about how the candidates would make China 'play by the rules'
The middle debate, which was supposed to take place in Miami, Florida last week, was canceled after Trump refused to participate after it was reformatted to be virtual following his positive COVID-19 diagnosis.
Instead, the two candidates held dueling town halls at the same time – a nod to the fact the second debate was meant to be held in a town hall format with C-SPAN's Steve Scully moderating.
Scully later was revealed to be involved in a scandal where his Twitter stirred up controversy after he engaged with Trump's former communications director Anthony Scaramucci, which the president claimed sowed an anti-Trump bias.
The reporter, who is now suspended from C-SPAN, falsely claimed he had been hacked, but later came clean that he was the one who sent the tweet.