Ahead of the 2020 election in November, the two presidential candidates took the stage on Sept. 29, facing each other for the first time in what will be a series of debates. Both President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden entered the stage as confident as ever — not shaking hands because, duh, coronavirus — and maintained their adversarial demeanor as the debate got underway. Biden and Trump discussed everything from the economy and healthcare to the latest Supreme Court justice pick and Trump’s taxes. It got pretty heated at times, with Trump repeatedly cutting Biden off and talking over moderator Chris Wallace, while Biden very literally told Trump to “shut up, man” and cracked a nervous smile more than once.

While the entire affair seemed more of an unruly argument than an orderly debate, President Trump’s team seemed to think otherwise. In fact, the campaign seemed to think the debate had gone decidedly in Trump’s favor — and said so several hours before the debate had even begun.

President Trump's team blundered on a premature email

That’s right, according to a Politico article published at 7:37 PM ET, President Donald Trump sent an email to his voter base claiming he had already finished the debate hours before it even began, at 9 PM ET. The fundraising email seemed to have been sent out prematurely, based on the language and the fact that it was sent out at about 6:30 PM on Tuesday. “I finished debating Joe Biden,” the email read. 

Trump also claimed that his performance would “go down in HISTORY” and asked for donations from his subscribers. “I showed the American People that I will ALWAYS fight to put America First no matter what and that I will NEVER stop working to Make America Great Again,” the email continued about his performance — that was yet to take place.

The email even seemed to jump the gun on how much they raised on debate night, saying to subscribers that “you chose not to step up and help make TODAY our BEST fundraising day EVER.”

President Trump followed in Joe Biden's footsteps

While the reason for the mix-up is still unknown, it’s not only President Donald Trump who has made this kind of mistake. In fact, Joe Biden sent out a similar email in November 2019, about six hours before the Democratic presidential debate was set to start, according to a separate report by Politico. In that email, Biden claimed he was “leaving the fifth Democratic debate now.”

“I hope I made you proud out there, and I hope I made it clear to the world why our campaign is so important,” Biden’s email went on. At the time, Biden’s team followed up with an email acknowledging the mistake seemingly taking it in stride. “Oops,” the follow-up email was titled. “You might have just gotten an email from Joe about just getting off of the debate stage. That’s our bad.”

“We know Joe is going to make us proud tonight. We were just so excited for it that we accidentally hit send too soon,” the email joked. It’s yet to be seen whether Trump’s team will send out a similar follow-up email acknowledging his mistake. 

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