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On Wednesday, former President Donald Trump announced that he will not sign a pledge to support the eventual Republican presidential nominee in 2024, leaving doubt if he will be allowed to participate in the first debate on Aug. 23rd.
“I wouldn’t sign the pledge,” Trump told Newsmax’s Eric Bolling. “Why would I sign a pledge if there are people on there that I wouldn’t have. I wouldn’t have certain people as somebody that I would endorse.”
Trump also claimed that he had “already decided” on whether or not he will attend the debate and that he will annnounce his plans next week. It remains unclear if Trump will be even allowed to participate in the debates due to the Republican National Committee’s (RNC) requirement that requires that candidates meet certain donor and polling thresholds, as well as sign a pledge that the candidate will support the eventual Republican nominee, or if the party will abandon their call for candidates to sign the pledge and allow Trump to participate.
RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel has previously warned Trump against skipping the debate, contending that if “you want to win the nomination, you’ve got to get in front of those primary voters.”
“I think it’s a mistake to not do the debates,” she said. “But that’s gonna be up to him and his campaign.”
Trump suggested in June that he may not participate in at least the first debate, and instead hold a rival event. Trump also skipped several debates during the 2016 election, including a debate in January 2016 claiming that he doesn’t “like being taken advantage of”.
The former president is currently the clear frontrunner for the party nomination.