Fox News is hosting the first Republican presidential debate on August 23, and former President Donald Trump has yet to agree to participate, defying the Fox hosts who are pushing him to. This follows Trump telling Reuters recently that Fox is a “hostile network” and that he is considering offers to counterprogram the debate. This comes as reports indicate that the Murdochs have soured on Flordia Gov. Ron DeSantis and instead are turning their attention to Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin; mentions of Youngkin have spiked on Fox lately as hosts have touted Youngkin and encouraged him to jump in the race. Additionally, mentions of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. are crowding out opportunities for others on the network.
Meanwhile, Newsmax personalities are urging the former president to appear on their network instead; others in right-wing media are broadly understanding of Trump's inclination to skip the debate. Gabriel Sherman has also reported that Tucker Carlson may book Trump to counterprogram the debate.
Amid this, Trump spokesperson Liz Harrington appeared on Steve Bannon's War Room and agreed with Bannon that the Murdochs and Fox were trying to take out Trump; she additionally called Fox a “fake news network” and noted that viewers are “fleeing” in favor of independent outlets.