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Donald Trump Confirms He Will Skip Republican Presidential Debates

Former US president and 2024 Republican Presidential hopeful Donald Trump speaks at the Republican Party of Iowa’s 2023 Lincoln Dinner at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa, on July 28, 2023. Donald Trump said on August 20, 2023 that he will skip this week’s first Republican presidential debate, arguing that Americans know him well and there is no need for a public showdown with his rivals for the White House. (Photo by Sergio FLORES / AFP)

Donald Trump said on Sunday that he will miss this week’s Republican presidential debate, stating that Americans are familiar with him and that there is no need for a public fight with his competitors for the White House.

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Trump highlighted his record as president and his popularity among the American people in a statement on his website Truth Social.

“I WILL THEREFORE NOT BE DOING THE DEBATES!” he said.

The first debate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2024 is set for Wednesday in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

In his message, Trump mentioned the latest in a series of polls showing him far and away ahead in the Republican field, this one published by CBS News on Sunday.

According to the study, 62 percent of those asked would vote for him despite the fact that he has been indicted four times this year, including on charges of attempting to subvert US democracy by plotting to overturn the 2020 election and remain in power despite his loss to Joe Biden.

In the CBS poll, Trump’s closest competitor was Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who received 16% of the vote. The remainder of them in the field are polling in the single digits.

Trump wrote that DeSantis is “crashing like an ailing bird.”

“The public knows who I am & what a successful Presidency I had,” Trump said, citing issues including energy, border security and the military, and the economy.

The 77-year-old former president, who is rarely out of the news, has been vociferous about possibly boycotting the debate in Milwaukee, fearful of sharing the spotlight with lower-polling candidates.

According to the New York Times, Trump informed aides that he planned to outdo his opponents by missing the Fox News event and instead sitting for an online interview with one of Fox’s former anchors, Tucker Carlson.

Even in his absence, Trump’s four criminal and three civil trials involving charges before, during, and after his scandal-plagued presidency will be fodder for opponents.

“Obviously, his legal issues are affecting this race,” Fox News host Bret Baier, who will be moderating the debate, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

“All these candidates have been asked non-stop about what’s happening in courtrooms around the country. So he’ll be a part of this debate whether he’s there or not.”

Seven other candidates, including state governors Ron DeSantis and Doug Burgum, former Vice President Mike Pence, Trump’s UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, have qualified for the debate.

While Trump leads the polls by a wide margin, some loyalists are concerned that a no-show may offer his opponents a chance to capitalize on a viral moment and gain momentum.

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