Aug 20, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Trump says he will "not be doing the debates"

Former President Trump during a July event in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Former President Trump confirmed on his Truth Social account Sunday that he will not be participating in this week's Republican primary debate.

Why it matters: Trump has for months hinted that he would skip the Aug. 23 Republican primary debate, but this is the first time he has categorically stated he will "not be doing the debates."

  • The New York Times reported on Friday that Trump was planning to skip the first Republican primary debate and instead sit for an online interview with Tucker Carlson.

Driving the news: Trump wrote on his Truth Social on Sunday that the "public knows who I am & what a successful Presidency I had."

  • "I will therefore not be doing the debates!" he said.
  • It's not immediately clear from Trump's social media post if he's referring to the GOP primary debates, or also any general election debates that may take place if he is the Republican nominee.
  • Representatives for Trump's campaign did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment.

The big picture: Nine Republican presidential candidates appear to have qualified for the Republican National Committee's first debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

  • Trump for months has signaled that he would sit out from the first debate, saying said last month, "when you have a big lead, you don't do it."
  • Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel said last month that it would be "a mistake" for Trump to miss the August debate, but added that it's "going to be up to him and his campaign."
  • A spokesperson for the RNC did not immediately respond to Axios' request for comment on Trump's Truth Social post.

Go deeper: 5 burning questions for the first Republican debate

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