WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Former U.S. President Donald Trump plans to skip the first Republican primary debate next week and instead sit for an online interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, the New York Times reported, citing people briefed on the matter.
Wednesday night’s debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin is being hosted by Fox News, which parted ways earlier this year with Carlson, who now is starting his own media company. Trump has also criticized Fox over its recent coverage of him.
The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Representatives for Fox, the Republican National Committee and Carlson also could not be immediately reached.
Trump’s rivals for the Republican presidential nomination ahead of the 2024 election will gather at the debate to tout their candidacies. Trump has an Aug. 25 deadline to voluntarily surrender in Fulton County, Georgia, after being charged this week in a fourth criminal indictment.
Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, charged Trump and 18 associates for a scheme intended to reverse his 2020 election loss to Democrat Joe Biden.
Most self-identified Republicans polled in June said they saw politics behind the indictments of Trump up to that point. Trump is leading polls for the party’s nominations.
Most Republicans have said they see politics behind the indictment of Trump, who is leading polls for the party’s nominations.
Trump also faces two federal indictments over his handling of classified documents after leaving office in January 2021 and over his alleged role in efforts to overturn his election loss. He also faces charges in New York over alleged hush money payments to a pornographic film star ahead of the 2016 election.
(Reporting by Nathan Layne; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Ismail Shakil and Alistair Bell)
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