Trump suggests he may not participate in 1st Republican debate

Trump suggests he may not participate in 1st Republican debate

Former US president refuses to sign Republican loyalty pledge last week, flouting requirements for 1st GOP debate

By Firdevs Bulut Kartal and Michael Hernandez

TORONTO / WASHINGTON (AA) – Former US President Donald Trump has suggested he will not participate in the first Republican debate.

Trump took to his own social media platform Thursday to suggest that he does not need to attend the highly-anticipated public showdown because of his sizable lead among Republican candidates.

"ALL AMERICANS have been clamoring for a President of extremely High Intelligence. As everyone is aware, my Poll numbers, over a 'wonderful' field of Republican candidates, are extraordinary," he said on Truth Social.

Noting that he is leading the runner-up candidate over 50 points, Trump said: "Reagan didn't do it, and neither did others. People know my Record, one of the BEST EVER, so why would I Debate? I'M YOUR MAN. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!"

Trump has so far refused to sign a pledge to support the Republican nominee if he does not win the GOP presidential primary, a requirement for participation in next Wednesday's debate.

His refusal has put him at loggerheads with the Republican National Committee, which maintains all participants must do so to participate in the debate.

Trump will instead participate in an online interview with former Fox News personality Tucker Carlson, the New York Times newspaper reported, citing anonymous individuals familiar with the matter.

The daily maintained that the exact timing of Trump’s interview with Carlson has yet to be determined, but said if it proceeds at the same time as the Republican debate, it "would serve as an act of open hostility."

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