By Savannah Hulsey Pointer
Former President Donald Trump confirmed in a social media post that his interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson will be released tonight (Aug. 23), just before the network’s Republican presidential primary debate.
Mr. Carlson in a short teaser posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, said the interview will be released at 8:55 p.m.
Fox News will broadcast the GOP primary event between 9 and 11 p.m., featuring eight of President Trump’s opponents.
“Sparks will fly,” President Trump wrote in his post about the interview.
President Trump made the decision not to participate in the debate, claiming his substantial advantage in several national and state-level surveys compared to the other contenders in the primary election.
The former president has been questioning the rationale for exposing himself to criticism from other candidates, given his significant lead in the polls among GOP supporters, for several months.
In contrast, President Trump engaged in a discussion with Mr. Carlson, a conservative pundit who was previously removed from the airways of Fox News, the network hosting the event, earlier this year.
Although the interview is not being broadcast in real-time, the strategic decision to show it concurrently with the start of the GOP showdown serves as a potential means for President Trump to divert attention away from a crucial juncture where his opponents may garner momentum.
Additionally, this move might be interpreted as yet another instance of President Trump’s ambivalent association with Fox News, a media network with whom he has maintained a complex and shifting rapport in recent years.
Some have asserted the interview will not pull a significant audience, with attorney and political commentator Bakari Sellers stating during a CNN interview that “Donald Trump’s counter-programming is horrible. I don’t think anybody is going to be watching Tucker Carlson on Twitter or X.”
The former president and Republican front-runner confirmed days ago that he will be skipping the Aug. 23 primary debate.
President Trump spoke out on Truth Social, saying that a CBS poll saw him leading the field of Republican candidates with 62 percent support. His closest competitor was Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, whom the former president asserted was “crashing like an ailing bird” and nicknamed “DeSanctimonious.”
“The public knows who I am and what a successful presidency I had, with energy independence, strong borders and military, biggest ever tax and regulation cuts, no inflation, strongest economy in history, and much more,” President Trump went on in his post.
“I will therefore not be doing the debates!”
He also said he would refuse to sign the RNC’s allegiance pledge earlier this month, which was set out as a prerequisite for participating in the Republican primary event.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum have committed to attending the debate and endorsing the eventual GOP nominee through the RNC pledge.
Former Vice President Mike Pence, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson have suggested they will be attending the debate as well.
Moderated by Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum, the two-hour debate event will exclusively air on Fox News, Rumble, and associated platforms.
Ahead of the debate, the Republican National Committee identified candidates meeting criteria in addition to the allegiance pledge to the party’s eventual nominee, including requirements related to polling and donors.
According to the RNC, radio host Larry Elder and businessman Perry Johnson did not meet the necessary criteria to compete. Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and Will Hurd, a former CIA clandestine officer who at one point represented Texas’s 23rd district in Congress, also fell short.
While the 45th president will not appear, his son, Donald Trump Jr., and former Fox News anchor Kimberly Guilfoyle are reportedly going to be on site leading interviews with several pro-Trump individuals at the Rumble Debate Studio on the afternoon before the debate.
This article was updated to include Tucker Carlson’s post on X confirming the interview.