The campaign team of ex-US President Donald Trump, who is attending a hearing over a fraud lawsuit related to his properties, has called on the Republican National Committee to cancel all future presidential primary debates, saying that the "manpower" must be refocused towards defeating Joe Biden in the upcoming elections.
In a statement on late Monday, his top advisers also repeated unsubstantiated claims of electoral fraud in the 2020 presidential elections despite no evidence found by multiple investigations and his own attorney general. They also accused Democrats of attempting to "steal" the upcoming elections as well.
Trump's senior campaign advisers Susie Wiles and Chris LaCivita say the November debate in Miami and all future debates should be cancelled. "Anything less, along with other reasons not to cancel, are an admission to the grassroots that their concerns about voter integrity are not taken seriously and national Republicans are more concerned about helping Joe Biden than ensuring a safe and secure election," they said.
Trump is the Republican frontrunner for the Republican nomination but he has not attended the first two primary debates, an issue that was taken up by his GOP rivals in the discussions. The former President further said that he would not participate in future debates.
The Republican National Committee has not commented on this stance of Trump's election campaign team
Trump's rival Ron DeSantis' spokesperson rejected the Trump campaign statement about cancelling debates, saying the country “needs a president who will fight for them anywhere, in any forum". DeSantis in the second debate accused Trump of not wanting to defend his record on the national debt.
Trump's civil fraud trial
Trump spent a day in court on Monday for the sometimes testy start of a trial in a fraud lawsuit in New York that could cost him control of Trump Tower and other prized properties. The state’s lawsuit accuses the business mogul-turned-politician and his company of deceiving banks, insurers and others by misstating his wealth for years in financial statements.
Trump denies wrongdoing and voluntarily attended a trial that he called a “sham,” a “scam,” a waste of the state’s time and “a continuation of the single greatest witch hunt of all time.” “What we have here is an attempt to hurt me in an election,” he said outside court, adding, “I don’t think the people of this country are going to stand for it.”
Engoron ruled last week that Trump committed fraud in his business dealings. If upheld on appeal, the ruling could force Trump to give up New York properties including Trump Tower, a Wall Street office building, golf courses and a suburban estate. Trump has called it a “corporate death penalty” and insisted the judge, a Democrat, is unfair and out to get him.
(with AP inputs)