Former President Donald Trump reportedly will skip the first Republican primary presidential debate, which is slated to air on Fox News on Wednesday. The New York Times reported Friday that Trump instead will do a one-on-one interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson. “In the past 24 hours, Mr. Trump has told people close to him that he has made up his mind and will skip the debate in Milwaukee, according to two of the people briefed on the matter,” the Times said. Last month, the former president hinted at just such a move on Truth Social, saying of the Carlson interview proposal as counterprogramming to the GOP debate, “Interesting? So many people have suggested this.” In a Thursday post, the 45th president indicated he likely would be skipping the debates. “Many people are asking whether or not I will be doing the DEBATES?” Trump said. “ALL AMERICANS have been clamoring for a President of extremely High Intelligence. “As everyone is aware, my Poll numbers, over a ‘wonderful’ field of Republican candidates, are extraordinary. In fact, I am leading the runner up, whoever that may now be, by more than 50 Points. “Reagan didn’t do it, and neither did others. People know my Record, one of the BEST EVER, so why would I Debate? I’M YOUR MAN. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” The Times noted that Carlson is still under contract with Fox News even though the network took him off the air in April, without offering an explanation. “Fox sent Mr. Carlson a cease-and-desist letter after he aired a series of videos on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter,” the outlet reported. Presumably, the interview would air on X, where Carlson hosts a show. Last month, the former Fox News host moderated the first GOP presidential forum of the primary season in Iowa, interviewing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, former Vice President Mike Pence and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson. The event was hosted by Blaze Media and aired on multiple platforms, including YouTube and Rumble. The only candidates who have fulfilled all of the qualifications for the Fox News debate are DeSantis, Haley, Ramaswamy, Scott and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum. Next week wouldn’t be the first time Trump has declined to participate in a primary debate. In January 2016, he skipped a Fox News-hosted GOP debate and instead held a rally in Iowa after the network refused his demand that Megyn Kelly be removed as a moderator. Trump felt that Kelly had been unfair to him during the first GOP presidential debate in August 2015 by asking about his treatment of women. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.