WASHINGTON−Seeking to build suspense – and attract attention – Donald Trump said Wednesday he would disclose next week whether he will attend the first Republican presidential candidates’ debate on Aug. 23.
“I’ll let it be known next week,” Trump said in an interview Wednesday with Newsmax TV, even as he continued to question whether he should attend the event to be held in Milwaukee in just two weeks.
Trump said one issue is that he won’t sign the pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee if it is not him – a requirement for entry into the debate. Trump said there are some GOP candidates he would never support, though he would not name them.
During the Newsmax interview, the thrice-indicted Trump also attacked President Joe Biden as well as state and federal prosecutors who are putting together criminal cases against him.
Trump has suggested for months that he might skip the first in a series of planned Republican debates. The front-running candidate said he doesn’t want to give rivals free shots at him when he has such big lead in polls.
In recent days, Trump has polled supporters about whether he should debate, posing the question at campaign events and in fundraising solicitations.
Opponents like Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie are seeking to goad Trump to the debate, seeing it as the best way to make inroads into his lead.
Christie, assailing Trump’s most recent mocking of his weight, has frequently said the ex-president is a “coward” if he doesn’t meet with his rivals.
“Show up at the debate and say it to my face,” Christie said Wednesday on the social media platform X. “I’ll be there … waiting for you.”
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump on Newsmax reveals he will say next week whether he will debate