A former Trump campaign adviser has predicted that the former president will surrender to authorities in Georgia during the first GOP presidential primary debate next Wednesday to take the spotlight off his challengers.
Former adviser Jason Osborne offered up the interesting theory during a discussion Friday on CNN.
The discussion began with network host Kaitlan Collins asking whether Osborne and her other guest, former Obama administration staffer Ashley Allison, thought Trump would appear for the first debate.
“Donald Trump right now is not expected to show up. He has until Monday, 9 o’clock, to make that official, I guess. But, I mean, candidates are kind of having to prepare. Does he show up? Does he not? They’re kind of prepping for two different debates, potentially,” she said.
Allison replied first.
“I don’t think they should be, though. 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,” she said.
“But when people are trying to ‘Well, if he’s not there, I’m going to,’ you can attack Donald Trump without him being here, and saying he’s wrong, and then talk about your vision. You can attack him, with him being here, and be very clear about your vision,” she added.
Concurring with Allison, Osborne then dropped his fascinating theory.
“I agree. 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,” he said.
“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 added.
Could this really happen? Well, at least one news outlet — Newsmax — has suggested it could indeed:
BREAKING: Newsmax reports on possibility Trump may turn himself in for Fulton County, Georgia arraignment DURING GOP Debate pic.twitter.com/Lh2xSIynM4
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) August 18, 2023
“There’s some talk that former President Trump may time his trip to the jail behind me here as the same day of the GOP debate in Milwaukee, which is on Wednesday of next week, to essentially steal the headlines,” a Newsmax correspondent reported Friday.
“But as one senior Trump adviser told me, just by not showing up, he’ll suck the oxygen out of the debate,” the correspondent added.
All this comes hours after The New York Times reported Friday afternoon that the former president plans to skip the first debate and instead sit down with conservative commentator Tucker Carlson for an interview.
All this likewise comes a day after Trump published a Truth Social post on Thursday indicating that he indeed would not be attending the debate.
“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,” he wrote.
‘Tucker for the win’: Trump sticks it to Fox with final decision on first presidential debatehttps://t.co/rABVk8jVlw
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) August 18, 2023
The announcement prompted backlash from his GOP primary challengers, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
“I think everyone should debate if you qualify. I think you owe it to the people to put out your vision, to talk about your record, answer questions about about your record and decisions that you may have made or not made,” DeSantis said Friday.
“If you’re not willing to do that, then I think that people are not going to look kindly on that,” he added.
His critics include fellow presidential candidate Chris Christie, who on Friday slammed Trump directly with a tweet.
“Surprise, surprise…the guy who is out on bail from four jurisdictions and can’t defend his reprehensible conduct, is running scared and hiding from the debate stage. Trump — certified loser, verified coward,” the former New Jersey governor wrote.
Surprise, surprise… the guy who is out on bail from four jurisdictions and can’t defend his reprehensible conduct, is running scared and hiding from the debate stage.
Trump – certified loser, verified coward. https://t.co/plGjaBngVP
— Chris Christie (@GovChristie) August 18, 2023
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