Reports indicate that former President Donald Trump plans to skip the first GOP presidential primary debate and do an interview with conservative media figure Tucker Carlson.
Trump has determined to skip the debate, NBC News reported, citing two sources aware of his thinking. The outlet reported that Trump is seeking an interview with Carlson.
“We haven’t confirmed anything on our end,” a Trump campaign spokesperson noted when questioned about Trump’s plans for next week, according to the outlet.
The New York Times reported that, according to individuals briefed on the issue, Trump plans to upstage the GOP primary debate by doing an interview with Carlson. According to two individuals briefed on the situation, Trump has informed individuals close to him that he has determined to skip the debate, the Times reported.
Trump is by far the most popular Republican presidential candidate, according to polling, so his absence would almost certainly lead to lower interest in the debate.
Trump has been publicly questioning why he should participate in the debate when he is already walloping the competition.
“Many people are asking whether or not I will be doing the DEBATES? ALL AMERICANS have been clamoring for a President of extremely High Intelligence. As everyone is aware, my Poll numbers, over a ‘wonderful’ field of Republican candidates, are extraordinary. In fact, I am leading the runner up, whoever that may now be, by more than 50 Points. Reagan didn’t do it, and neither did others. People know my Record, one of the BEST EVER, so why would I Debate? I’M YOUR MAN. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” Trump wrote in a post on Truth Social.
The debate is slated to take place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on August 23 and will be moderated by Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum of Fox News. “The RNC is proud to announce the @FoxNews Republican Primary Debate with Partners @YAF and @RumbleVideo,” the Republican National Committee tweeted in April.
Carlson previously hosted a popular primetime program on the Fox News Channel, but the show was abruptly eliminated from the evening lineup earlier this year. Carlson later launched a new show that is unaffiliated with Fox News, releasing episodes directly on Twitter.
Axios reported earlier this year that Fox News had issued a cease-and-desist letter to Carlson. But Carlson has continued creating content and releasing it on the social media platform.
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