Trump Dithers on Participation in 2020 Presidential Debates

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U.S. President Donald Trump has cast doubt on whether he will participate in the customary televised debates in 2020 ahead of the presidential election in November.

“I will make a decision at an appropriate time,” Trump said as part of a series of tweets in which he bashed the non-profit Commission on Presidential Debates that has sponsored and produced the debates for the past three-decades.

Trump has avoided taking part in debates so far this election cycle, as he is facing no serious contender within his own Republican Party.

The rival Democrats have held five primary debates so far, with another planned for this week.

Seven Democrats have qualified for the upcoming televised forum, down from a peak of 20 at the onset.

“I look very much forward to debating whoever the lucky person is who stumbles across the finish line in the little watched Do Nothing Democrat Debates,” Trump said.

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Trump’s anger at the commission stems in part from an incident in 2016, when his microphone volume was modulated during the first debate with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Polls done at the time showed Clinton performed better in all three debates.

Recently, the New York Times reported that Trump aides were on the fence about the president’s participation in debates in 2020, in part over his anger at the commission and in part because he wanted a say in who will moderate them.

Trump was elected as president in 2016 in spite of no prior career in politics.

He is running for a second and final term in the 2020 cycle.

(dpa/NAN)

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