Donald Trump had the entire political world guessing what he would do.
Trump dominated the political conversation in his typical fashion.
And all hell broke loose when Donald Trump made this huge debate announcement.
After weeks of speculation and behind-the-scenes lobbying Donald Trump announced he will not participate in the first GOP presidential debate in Milwaukee on August 23.
In a post on Truth Social, Trump cited his massive lead in the polls as the reason for his skipping the contest.
“Many people are asking whether or not I will be doing the DEBATES? 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. In fact, I am leading the runner up, whoever that may now be, by more than 50 Points. 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 declared.
Trump skipping the debate is not a giant surprise.
The 45th president hinted for weeks that he does not plan to attend.
But it is what Trump plans to do instead that raised eyebrows.
Trump reportedly is set to counterprogram the debate by sitting for an interview with Tucker Carlson on his livestream social media show.
“Former President Donald J. Trump plans to upstage the first Republican primary debate on Wednesday by sitting for an online interview with the former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, according to multiple people briefed on the matter,” The New York Times reports.
“In the past 24 hours, Mr. Trump has told people close to him that he has made up his mind and will skip the debate in Milwaukee, according to two of the people briefed on the matter,” the Times also reports.
For both Trump and Carlson this serves as a delicious piece of revenge against Fox News—
late last year and carrying over into this year Fox News effectively banned Donald Trump.
Trump did not appear on the network for nearly seven months and in that time Fox News daytime hosts barely mentioned his name.
“Everyone knows that there’s this ‘soft ban’ or ‘silent ban,’” a Trumpworld source told Semafor. “It’s certainly — however you want to say, quiet ban, soft ban, whatever it is — indicative of how the Murdochs feel about Trump in this particular moment.”
Fox news fired Carlson in April for still unexplained reasons.
Firing Carlson caused Fox to lose 30 percent of its primetime audience and 45 percent of viewers in the coveted 25-54 age demographic.
Fox News executives circled the debate as their golden opportunity to regain these viewers.
But without Trump attending — and offering his own counterprogramming as competition — viewership is sure to be down from the record 25 million Fox News drew for the first GOP debate in 2015.
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