Trump Threatens To Skip Republican Debates
Former US President Donald Trump speaks to the media while departing a polling station after voting in the US midterm elections at Morton and Barbara Mandel Recreation Center in Palm Beach, Florida, on November 8, 2022.

Former President Trump threatened Tuesday to skip the Republican primary debates, complaining on his social media platform that he had not been consulted about them and predicting that moderators would be hostile to him.

The Republican National Committee announced in February that the opening debate for Republican presidential candidates would be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in August 2023 and that the RNC was considering 10 and 12 debates between August and the Republican National Convention in the summer of 2024. Last week the RNC announced the second debate would be held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley near Los Angeles, California.

“At this time, no other debates have been sanctioned, nor has the final criteria for the first debate been decided,” RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel — who was championed by Trump in her own re-election battle against Harmeet Dhillon — stated to RNC members on February 23. “We have a long way to go, but I am confident we will be able to showcase our eventual nominee in a world class fashion.”

“I see that everybody is talking about the Republican Debates, but nobody got my approval, or the approval of the Trump Campaign, before announcing them,” Trump posted on Tuesday. “When you’re leading by seemingly insurmountable numbers, and you have hostile Networks with angry, TRUMP & MAGA hating anchors asking the ‘questions,’ why subject yourself to being libeled and abused?”

Trump attacked the location for the second debate, snapping, “Also, the Second Debate is being held at the Reagan Library, the Chairman of which is, amazingly, Fred Ryan, Publisher of The Washington Post. NO!”

Trump has skipped debates before. In January 2016, he refused to participate in a Fox News debate after he demanded then-Fox News host Megyn Kelly, who had moderated a previous Fox News debate, be removed. Instead, Trump held a fundraiser for veterans.

In March 2016, the Republican presidential debate in Salt Lake City, Utah, was canceled after Trump said he likely would not attend. “I think we’ve had enough debates,” Trump told “Fox & Friends.”

“This morning, Donald Trump announced he would not be participating in the debate. Shortly afterward, John Kasich’s campaign announced that without Trump at the debate, Kasich would not participate. Ted Cruz has expressed a willingness to debate Trump or Kasich — or both,” Fox News stated. “But obviously, there needs to be more than one participant. So the Salt Lake City debate is cancelled.”

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