Trump confirms he will skip first Republican presidential debate

Former President Donald Trump on Sunday confirmed that he will not take part in the first Republican primary debate this week.

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Writing on his Truth Social media platform, Trump said he would not attend the debate on Wednesday in Milwaukee.

“The public knows who I am & what a successful Presidency I had,” Trump wrote. “I WILL THEREFORE NOT BE DOING THE DEBATES!”

It was unclear whether Trump meant he will sit out all of the scheduled debates, CNN reported. A spokesperson for the former president did not clarify whether the front-running GOP candidate would skip every primary debate or those that have been scheduled so far, according to The Associated Press.

Co-moderators Martha MacCallum and Bret Baier of Fox News will host the first Republican presidential primary debate at Milwaukee’s Fiserv Forum, NBC News reported. Fox Business will host the second debate in late September at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute in Simi Valley, California, according to the news outlet.

To qualify for the debate, candidates must have at least 40,000 unique donors, with at least 200 unique donors per state, CNN reported. They also must reach at least 1% in three national polls meeting the RNC’s requirements or at least 1% in two national polls and two polls from separate early-voting states.

Nine candidates, including Trump, have met the requirements, according to NBC News.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who has been openly critical of Trump, has accused the former president of lacking “the guts to show up,” calling him a “coward” if he skips the forum, the AP reported.

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