Former President Donald Trump told Breitbart News this week that he would likely not be taking part in the first official Republican primary debate. Trump had been considering an invitation to participate but cited what he described as hostility from Fox News as a reason he may not attend.
The former president has almost three weeks to consider attending the Aug. 23 debate in Milwaukee. However, during the interview, the former president said that entering the debate may be “sort of foolish” and perhaps “stupid.”
Trump cited his considerable lead in recent 2024 Republican primary polls, stating that some of the other candidates poll near zero.
The former president also said that Fox News was a “hostile network” with “hostile people,” believing that the network may attempt to sabotage him.
Trump’s decision also comes after it was revealed that executives from Fox News personally lobbied Trump to take part in the debate.
“I haven’t totally made a decision,” he said. “I like the debates. I might be here because of the debates.”
The first debate will include a number of candidates, such as former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and former Vice President Mike Pence.
BREAKING: Fox presses Trump to join GOP presidential debatehttps://t.co/UJZsqH6XaF
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) August 2, 2023
Separately, the former president posted on Truth Social that the other candidates should “debate so I can see who I MIGHT consider for Vice President!”
During a recent rally, the former president asked the crowd whether or not he should attend the first debate. During the event, he also cited Fox News as a potential reason not to. The crowd cheered when he asked if he should not take part.
Trump’s performances in the 2016 Republican presidential primary debates helped garner significant support for his campaign.
Trump cited the general election debate against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, adding that he “might have won against Hillary with the debates and I might have gotten the nomination because of the debates.”