Trump Plans to Skip G.O.P. Debate for Interview With Tucker Carlson

The former president’s apparent decision to skip the first debate is a major affront both to the Republican National Committee and to Fox News, which is hosting the event.

Maggie Haberman and 

Former President Donald J. Trump plans to upstage the first Republican primary debate on Wednesday by sitting for an online interview with the former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, according to multiple people briefed on the matter.

In the past 24 hours, Mr. Trump has told people close to him that he has made up his mind and will skip the debate in Milwaukee, according to two of the people briefed on the matter.

Mr. Trump is notoriously mercurial, and left himself something of an out to change his mind with an ambiguous post on his website, Truth Social, on Thursday. He wrote that he’s polling well ahead of his rivals and added, “Reagan didn’t do it, and neither did others. People know my Record, one of the BEST EVER, so why would I Debate?”

For weeks, the former president has been quizzing aides, associates and rally crowds about what he should do. Until earlier this week, Mr. Trump had been giving people the impression he was considering a last-minute surprise appearance on Wednesday.

Still, people close to him had said for months that he was unlikely to take part in the first two Republican debates, both of which are sponsored by the Republican National Committee. And Mr. Trump’s apparent decision to skip the first debate of the presidential nominating contest is a major affront to both the R.N.C. and Fox News, which is hosting the event.

The exact timing and platform of the interview with Mr. Carlson remain unclear, but if it goes ahead as currently planned, the debate-night counterprogramming would serve as an act of open hostility.


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Published on on August 18, 2023

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August 19, 2023 | 5 Comments »

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5 Comments / 5 Comments

  1. Maggie Haberman is much like Tom Friedman…..when you see their byline…..RUN! I take everything either of these two shills write with a Mt. Everest-sized grain of salt.

  2. Trump has nothing to prove. Republican voters will choose Trump no matter what as a point of honor to reclaim the election that was stolen from them and to restore faith in the integrity of the government. Debates will only serve to vet possible VP running mates and potential 2028 candidates. Any candidate who criticizes Trump is just wasting his time. This isn’t like any other election.

    Also, Peloni is right. All he has to do is talk policy directly to the American people with a sympathetic interviewer like Carlson who asks intelligent questions and lets him speak. He has a record. He was a good president. Unlike the other candidates, he’s not learning to shave on someone else’s beard, so to speak.

    But, the general election will almost certainly be rigged, again. I’m not sanguine about the outcome. The legacy of Boss Tweed on a national and international scale.
    Where is our Thomas Nast?

    “How about a nice game of chess.” –
    “Wargames” (1983) ending

  3. Republicans are killing themselves rather than going after the Communist Democrats. They are insane and we will be the victims.

  4. Tucker Carlson no longer has any venue where anyone of importance will actually hear or be able to watch the interview. When an enemy sets a “trap” for you, your job is to outwit them or overpower them if possible. Trump lacks the resources or power to overpower his adversaries. He must outwit them and ducking and covering during the Fox News debate isn’t the way to go. He should be at the debate confronting this. For any “trap” they may set for him, the facts are on his side. If he’s not there, his adversaries in the media and other Republican candidates will be able to go on offense without any need to worry about defense. While I like Tucker Carlson especially his positions on the Russia/Ukraine war. he’s irrelevant now.

  5. Mr. Trump’s apparent decision to skip the first debate of the presidential nominating contest is a major affront to both the R.N.C. and Fox News

    Trump is a major affront to both the RNC and Fox News, which is why the debate format and details were rigged, err I mean made, without his input. I am glad that he chose to ignore the trap set for him by these two key enemies of his, but I am even more pleased, though not surprised, to hear that he will not simply sit on the support he has with the public but will, as he did while president, make himself available to being vetted. The choice of interviewer being by Fox News’ leading personality, formerly of course, was a clever nod to the fact that this is no longer the network which boasts of being Fair and Balanced, while also allowing the public a scrutinizing glimpse into his candidacy.