Former President Donald Trump will reportedly not attend the first Republican primary debate next week and will instead participate in an interview with Tucker Carlson.
Trump has long hinted that he would not attend the debate and has bristled at the requirement that candidates sign a pledge to support the eventual nominee in order to participate.
The New York Times, which first reported Trump’s decision, interpreted the Carlson interview as a snub to Fox News, an outlet with which he has feuded since leaving office. Carlson, for his part, was fired from the network in the wake of a settlement with Dominion Voting Systems related to the network’s coverage of the firm.
He has, since his ouster, hosted a program on Twitter that has prompted legal action from his former network.
Trump, on average, holds a roughly 40-point lead in the race, according to RealClearPolitics, which 54.7% of Republicans backing him over nearest rival Ron DeSantis, who earned 14.8% support. No other candidate enjoys double-digit backing in that metric.