Former President Donald Trump expressed his unhappiness Tuesday with the details that have come out about the upcoming GOP presidential primary debates, suggesting there’s little benefit for him to participate.

Trump said in a post on his social media platform that the Republican Party is setting up the debates without talking to him or his campaign.

“I see that everybody is talking about the Republican Debates, but nobody got my approval, or the approval of the Trump Campaign, before announcing them,” Trump said on Truth Social.

The RealClearPolitics polling average shows Trump with a 29 point lead against his closest potential rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is expected to join the race in the coming months.

Trump said since he’s leading by “seemingly insurmountable numbers ... why subject yourself to being libeled and abused?”

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Ronna McDaniel, the Republican National Committee chairwoman announced late February that the first GOP primary debate will be held this August in Milwaukee. Earlier this month, McDaniel said Fox News was chosen to host the debate.

Without referencing Fox News directly, Trump said the debates will “have hostile Networks with angry, TRUMP & MAGA hating anchors asking the ‘questions.’” For several months, Trump has traded barbs with Fox News: last month calling Fox Chairman Rupert Murdoch and other company executives a “group of MAGA hating Globalist RINOS” who are “abetting the destruction of America.”

Screen shot of @realDonaldTrump on Truth Social

Last week, McDaniel announced the second Republican primary debate would be held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, where Washington Post publisher Fred Ryan is chairman of the board.

Trump criticized the pick and said, “NO!”

It’s not uncommon for Trump to threaten to skip presidential debates. During his first campaign for president he considered missing the first GOP primary debate in 2016 because he didn’t believe then-Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly would treat him fairly, but he ended up participating in the debate

Then, later in that same race, the GOP primary debate scheduled to take place in Salt Lake City in March 2016 was canceled after Trump and other candidates declined to come.

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“We’ve had enough debates in my opinion,” he told reporters.

And in 2020, Trump repeatedly said he was considering a boycott of the debates with then-candidate Joe Biden in the general election due to his complaints about the Presidential Debate Commission.

The commission is a nonprofit organization that has hosted presidential debates for the general election since 1988. It is run through sponsorship from both the GOP and Democratic Party. But last year the Republican National Committee unanimously voted to withdraw from the commission.

The RNC’s new rule effectively prohibits the eventual 2024 GOP presidential nominee from participating. Although, they could vote to change their participation rules later.

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