Updated Jan 2, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Fox will host Trump town hall during CNN's GOP primary debate

Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. President Donald Trump looks on during a campaign event on December 19, 2023 in Waterloo, Iowa.

Former President Trump looks on during a campaign event on Dec. 19 in Waterloo, Iowa. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Fox News announced Tuesday that it is planning to host a town hall with former President Trump in Des Moines, Iowa, on Jan. 10, airing at the same time that CNN is set to host a GOP primary debate.

Why it matters: It's the latest instance of the former president and 2024 GOP frontrunner snubbing debates and instead participating in counter-programming.

Driving the news: The Fox News town hall, set to air on Jan. 10 from 9 to 10pm ET, will be co-moderated by Fox News' Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum.

  • Trump has not participated in any of the previous Republican primary debates. In October, he urged the Republican National Committee to cancel the remaining debates.

Zoom out: The CNN debate, also scheduled for Jan. 10 at 9pm ET, will be hosted by CNN anchors Jake Tapper and Dana Bash.

  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley are likely to be the only two GOP presidential hopefuls to take the stage days before the pivotal Jan. 15 Iowa caucuses.
  • Haley, DeSantis and Trump were the only GOP candidates to clear the polling threshold to qualify for the CNN debate, the network said Tuesday.
  • Entrepreneur and GOP hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy, who did not qualify, released a statement Tuesday slamming the CNN debate. He said that he will instead be participating in a live town hall with conservative media personality Tim Pool.

Between the lines: Haley on Tuesday called on Trump to participate in the CNN debate, noting the field's dwindling size.

  • "As the debate stage continues to shrink, it's getting harder for Donald Trump to hide," Haley wrote on X.

Go deeper: The 2024 presidential debates have been unveiled

Editor's note: This story has been updated with the names of candidates who qualified for the CNN debate, as well as comment from Nikki Haley.

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