Former President Donald Trump opted for a one-on-one interview with ex-Fox News host Tucker Carlson — an interview that was released on X and timed to compete with Wednesday evening’s GOP presidential primary debate.
While every other candidate who met the Republican National Committee’s criteria chose to attend the debate — and take questions from moderators Shannon Bream and Bret Baier — Trump cited a poll that showed him with a comfortable lead, saying, “I WILL THEREFORE NOT BE DOING THE DEBATES.”
That same poll also showed that the majority of Republicans wanted to see the former president on the debate stage — but instead, Trump sat down with Carlson to discuss a wide range of topics, from his reasons for skipping the debate to the problems with corporate media.
Carlson’s 46-minute broadcast preempted the start of the debate by five minutes, and after a few brief digs at the other Republican candidates, they settled in to a long conversation focused on Trump’s claims that the 2020 election had been rigged, whether or not President Joe Biden’s physical and mental health would allow him to make it to the 2024 general election, and issues the next president would likely face.
The pair bonded over their mutual dislike of former “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace and then briefly butted heads over the fate of the late convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein when Carlson said that he was wholly convinced that Epstein had been killed. Trump — while he admitted “a case could be made” for someone killing him — said he thought Epstein had likely panicked at the prospect of possibly spending the rest of his life in prison and took his own life.
The interview wrapped essentially where Trump had started in the 2016 presidential campaign, with his assessment of the ongoing crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border — followed briefly by his concerns about division in the wake of what happened on January 6th.
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