The former president confirmed the news on his Truth Social website, writing that due to new polling showing him leading the Republican primary field by a wider margin, he will not be taking part in the debate and possibly even future debates.
“The public knows who I am & what a successful Presidency I had,” Trump wrote. “I WILL THEREFORE NOT BE DOING THE DEBATES!”
Sources close to Trump say he is thinking of skipping any debates that are hosted by Fox News and Fox Business, which he has soured on in recent months.
Martha MacCallum and Bret Baier of Fox News will host the first Republican presidential primary debate on Wednesday night while Fox Business will host the second debate in late September.
Trump will instead have an interview at the same time as the debate with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
Former Vice President Mike Pence, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, South Carolina Gov. Tim Scott, and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie have all qualified.
Trump’s decision comes just hours after RNC chair Ronna McDaniel said she hoped Trump would debate.
“I’m still holding out hope that President Trump will come. I think it’s so important that the American people hear from all the candidates,” McDaniel said on Fox News.