Former Fox News host Tucker Carlson will host a Republican presidential forum later this week but one notable figure will be absent from the event – Donald Trump.
Bob Vander Plaats, president and CEO of the Family Leader, which is hosting the forum along with Blaze Media, told The Hill on Tuesday the organization had just learned Trump will not participate.
A Trump spokesperson confirmed that a scheduling event will prevent Trump from participating in the upcoming forum.
“President Trump was in Iowa last week and will be back next week,” a Trump campaign spokesperson told The Hill. “Unfortunately there is a scheduling conflict and the President will be in Florida this weekend headlining the premier national young voter conference with Turning Point Action conference while DeSantis is nowhere to be found.”
The forum, which will be held Friday in the early primary state of Iowa, will feature one-on-one conversations between Carlson and leading GOP candidates of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Tim Scott (S.C.), former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.
The forum comes just more than a month before the Republican National Committee’s (RNC) first debate in Milwaukee.
However, Trump has yet to confirm his participation in the first RNC debate, citing a “hostile” relationship with Fox News and polling showing him with a commanding lead over other candidates.
In an interview Tuesday on “The Hill” on NewsNation, senior Trump advisor Jason Miller, said, “At the moment, President Trump has indicated that he’s unlikely to participate, at least in the first two debates.”
“It really wouldn’t make much sense for him to go and debate right now with a bunch of folks who are down at three, four and five percent,” Miller continued.
“So ultimately, President Trump will make a decision as we get closer,” he concluded. “He has not said anything definitive, one way or the other. I’m not expecting him to participate, though.”
Friday’s forum will be available to watch via streaming on Blaze TV’s YouTube channel.