President Donald Trump plans to skip the GOP debate and instead take an interview with Tucker Carlson. Trump is the frontrunner by double digits in the 2024 GOP presidential primary, and some polls show him beating President Joe Biden in a general election.
"When you're leading by seemingly insurmountable numbers, and you have hostile Networks with angry, Trump and MAGA hating anchors asking the 'questions,' why subject yourself to being libeled and abused?" Trump said earlier this year on Truth Social.
Sources familiar with the former president's plan to skip the debate told the New York Times he will instead be doing an interview online with Tucker Carlson, who streams his shows on X (formerly Twitter).
On Thursday Trump gave an inkling as to his plan for the debate on Truth Social, saying, "Reagan didn’t do it, and neither did others. People know my Record, one of the best ever, so why would I debate?”
He talked about the status of his high poll numbers again which he said are high "over a 'wonderful' field of Republican candidates."
According to the New York Times, he was giving the impression that he would make a surprise appearance at the debate despite suggesting otherwise publicly. RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel made a trip to Trump's Bedminster golf club to try to convice the former president and GOP favorite to join the August 23 debate in Milwaukee.
Trump will reportedly have the interview with Carlson as a counter-program to the debate.
With Carlson's firing in the spring, it is also seen as a jab at Fox News, the network hosting the debate for the primary candidates.
As of Friday in the 538 polling averages for the Republican primary, Trump has a wide lead at 54 percent compared to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at an average of 15.7 percent. Presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy is in third with nearly 8 percent and others are behind.
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