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A former campaign adviser to then-President Donald Trump has a theory about what may be done to overshadow the Republican Presidential Debate.
The former adviser, Jason Osborne, spoke to CNN anchor Kaitlan Collins on her show “The Source” on Friday, where he shared his idea of what the former president may do.
“Donald Trump, right now, is not expected to show up,” he said regarding the debate. “He has until Monday at nine o’clock to make that official, I guess. Candidates are kind of having to prepare. Does he show up? Does he not? They’re kind of prepping for two different debates, potentially.”
“I don’t think they should be, though,” former Obama administration staffer Ashley Allison said. “I think you should be very clear in your vision of what you want to do as president, regardless of Donald Trump. And that has to be, ‘I’m either going to say Donald Trump was wrong,’ and be very clear whether he’s on the debate stage or not.”
“I agree,” the former adviser said. “I’m [at] about a 30% chance this is going to happen, but I think Donald Trump is gonna turn himself in either right before the debate or during the debate, which will suck all the oxygen out of the room. And then Fox is stuck having to air the debate, whereas you and other networks are able to say, ‘Wait a minute, Donald Trump has actually just turned himself in.’ And then there’s Tucker Carlson waiting on the steps of the courthouse, able to interview him right there.”
He said the Fulton County jail is open 24 hours daily, which makes the idea a possibility.
Former President Donald Trump, now facing four indictments as the leading 2024 GOP presidential contender, is planning a cable news blitz as well as a sit-down interview with former Fox News star Tucker Carlson as a counter to the first Republican debate later this month, which Fox is moderating.
Sources close to the Trump campaign have reportedly told CNN that the ex-president and his advisors are engaged in discussions regarding potential counterprogramming strategies to divert attention from the upcoming Fox News debate in Milwaukee.
“Conversations regarding a potential interview with Carlson have taken place with Trump’s team, but there is no definitive plan for him to do that as of now, they say,” Alayna Treene reported. “Trump has privately and publicly floated skipping either one or both of the first two Republican presidential primary debates and has repeatedly pointed to his commanding lead in the polls as one reason he is hesitant to share the stage with his GOP challengers.”
Trump hasn’t done any debate prep, and one of Treene’s sources noted that he doesn’t need it. She added that “there’s always a chance he may ultimately decide to participate at the 11th hour.”
While it’s unclear if Fox News will allow this if Trump doesn’t show, his advisers are also reportedly interested in having the former president’s allies like Kari Lake and Florida GOP Congressmen Byron Donalds and Matt Gaetz attend the debate and work the spin room on his behalf.
For months, Trump has openly hinted that he won’t do the debate, even after Fox News president Jay Wallace and chief executive Suzanne Scott reportedly met with him and implored him to participate on August 23rd.
Trump last month suggested that he may sit down for a one-on-one interview with Carlson on the same night as the first Republican primary debate.
In addition to Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, Senator Tim Scott, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence, and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie have qualified for the first debate.
A report from Vanity Fair claimed Trump is planning to counterprogram the GOP primary debate by appearing on Carlson’s popular Twitter show.
“The question, of course, is how a ratings-obsessed Trump would counterprogram a prime-time Fox debate that is sure to draw a significant cable news audience and feature such 2024 challengers as Ron DeSantis. One idea Trump is mulling is to sit for an interview with Tucker Carlson on his Twitter show at the same time as the debate, two sources briefed on the discussions said. According to one source, Trump recently reached out to Carlson and asked if Carlson would do the interview, but no decisions have been made,” Vanity Fair reported.