Last Updated on September 30, 2020
Conservatives say a video quickly going viral on social media, originally uploaded to Facebook by a California man, shows Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden wearing a wire or communication device during Tuesday night’s debate.
The video, originally uploaded to Facebook by California man Jay Ashurst, shows the camera trained on Biden while President Donald Trump is speaking. Biden reached his left hand into the right side of his suit and appeared to adjust his clothing. Seconds later, an anomalous dark line emerges from his jacket, potentially a crease in a starched shirt, or a cable of some type.
As Biden straightens his posture, the dark line appears to grow tight and then disappears into his jacket. After rewatching large portions of the debate, National File could not find another instance where a dark line was seen in the same position.
“He’s wearing a wire,” says a man narrating the video. “There it is, Biden’s wearing a wire. Why do you need a wire, bro? You’ve got a mic.”
The video was then uploaded to Twitter, where a user named MediaFerret wrote “A Patriot with a good eye released this.”
Well…well…well. A Patriot with a good eye released this.
— Media Ferret (@Media__Ferret) September 30, 2020
Within hours the clip began going viral on Twitter, eventually leading to conservative pundit James Woods to post the video to his Twitter.
“And there it is. #JoeWired,” wrote Woods.
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) September 30, 2020
When viewing the video in context via CSPAN, Biden appears to have caused the fabric to come loose in his shirt while either adjusting his suit or scratching his shoulder. While some believe this is a wire, there are multiple moments where Biden’s shirt, which appeared to be starched, created a strong black line in other positions that could not be used to conceal a cable.
At approximately the 1:02:00 mark of the version of the debate live streamed by CSPAN on YouTube, Biden’s adjustment and the mysterious dark object can both be seen in context.
Earlier in the day, President Trump’s campaign demanded a neutral third party examine the ears of both the president and the former vice president to determine whether they were being aided by communication equipment.
It was initially reported that Biden’s campaign refused the Trump campaign’s request, though the Biden campaign later denied this. There does not appear to have been an independent, third party examination of the candidates before the debate.