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Trump will skip early Republican Party debates for 2024 presidential nomination – Reports

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Washington: Former US President Donald Trump is likely to skip at least one early debate for Republican Party candidates for the 2024 presidential election, The New York Times reported, citing five people familiar with the matter.

Trump has told associates in recent weeks that he does not want to bring attention to Republican challengers by sharing a debate stage with them, the report said on Tuesday.

Trump reportedly said he is “up by too many points” in the polls to debate other potential Republican Party nominees.

Polls show that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis poses the biggest challenge to Trump so far, receiving approximately 30% of support, the report said. All other Republican contenders have received single-digit support, the report added.

Last month, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel announced the first Republican primary debate will be held in Milwaukee in August. A second debate will be held in California at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.

In response to the debate announcements, Trump said via social media that nobody consulted him or his campaign before releasing the event dates. Trump expressed concerns about “hostile” news networks and the potential to be “libeled and abused.”

Trump’s non-participation in Republican debates will shrink the viewing audience and limit challengers’ chances to create a breakout moment, the report said.

Trump told advisers that he is not interested in the debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, citing its ties to library board of trustees chairman Frederick J. Ryan Jr., who also serves as CEO of The Washington Post, the report said.

Trump is also hesitant to attend the Fox News debate after years of feuding with the network, following its decision to declare Joe Biden the winner of the state of Arizona on election night in 2020, the report said.

Moreover, Trump pointed to his past skirmish with anchor Megyn Kelly as a reason not to attend the network’s debate, the report said.

However, Trump is set to hold a “town hall” style discussion on CNN next week with Republicans and undeclared voters in New Hampshire.

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