Trump announces he will run for president in 2024 at his Mar-a-Lago estate
Trump announces he will run for president in 2024 at his Mar-a-Lago estateREUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Former US President Donald Trump plans to skip the third Republican debate as he did the first two, NBC News reported on Thursday.

“He isn’t going,” Chris LaCivita, a Trump campaign senior adviser, confirmed to NBC News, though he would not comment on possible counter-programming for the night of the third debate.

Trump skipped the first Republican debate in August, arguing that he does not need to take part because “the public knows who I am”.

Instead, Trump pre-recorded an interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson which was posted to X, formerly Twitter, as the debate aired on TV.

The second debate was held on Wednesday night and Trump again chose to skip it and instead delivered a speech in Detroit.

The next debate will be held in Miami on November 8, a short drive from Trump’s Florida residence.

Several of the Republican candidates stepped up their attacks on the former President in Wednesday night’s second debate, particularly Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

DeSantis said Trump is missing in action and added, “He should be on the stage tonight. He owes it to you to defend his record."

Christie directly to the camera, said, "Donald, I know you are watching. You can't help yourself."

"You're not here tonight because you are afraid of being on the stage and defending your record," he added.

"If you keep doing that, no one up here is going to call you Donald Trump anymore. They will call you Donald Duck," continued Christie, who later tweeted out a cartoon image of Donald Duck giving a thumbs up and winking.