Trump Chooses Exclusive Interview with Tucker Carlson Over GOP Debate
In a surprising move, former President Donald J. Trump has decided to skip the first Republican primary debate and instead sit down for an online interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson. This unexpected choice has left the political world buzzing with speculation.
In the past 24 hours, Trump has confided in his close associates about his decision to forgo the debate in Milwaukee. However, he’s left a door open for a change of heart with a cryptic post on his Truth Social platform, where he boasted about his strong poll numbers and questioned the necessity of a debate, asking, “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, Trump has been seeking advice from his advisors, associates, and even his rally audiences about whether he should participate in the debates. While there were rumors earlier this week of a surprise appearance, those who know Trump well have consistently believed he would skip the first two Republican debates, both sponsored by the Republican National Committee. This decision is a significant snub to both the R.N.C. and Fox News, the debate’s host.
Details about the interview with Tucker Carlson remain unclear, but if it happens as planned, it will be a bold move, effectively overshadowing the debate. Ronna McDaniel, Chairwoman of the R.N.C., had made a personal appeal to Trump to attend the debate, even visiting his private club in Bedminster, N.J., last month to make her case.
Fox News is also in a public battle with Trump and Tucker Carlson. Despite no longer hosting a show on Fox, Carlson is still under contract with the network. Fox sent Carlson a cease-and-desist letter after he shared videos on the X platform. Previous reports have suggested that the Trump campaign has been in discussions with Carlson about the possibility of counterprogramming.
As of now, representatives for the Trump campaign, the R.N.C., Fox News, and Tucker Carlson have not commented on the matter. Trump’s recent criticisms of Fox and his private grievances against Rupert Murdoch, the Chairman of Fox Corporation, add a layer of intrigue. Nevertheless, Trump has given top Fox executives and anchors the impression that he might consider their requests.
Earlier this month, Trump hosted Fox News President Jay Wallace and the network’s CEO, Suzanne Scott, for dinner. They had hoped to persuade Trump to attend the debate and left the dinner with cautious optimism, according to sources.
Trump’s decision to skip the debate comes after his fourth criminal indictment, this time from the Fulton County, Ga., district attorney. He’s accused of participating in a criminal conspiracy to undermine the transfer of power after losing the 2020 election in the state. This legal development adds another layer of complexity to the unfolding drama.
In the ever-unpredictable world of American politics, Trump’s choice to forego the debate stage in favor of an interview with Tucker Carlson is another chapter in the ongoing saga of the former president’s political journey.