WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said Monday he looks forward to debating his Democratic opponent in the 2020 presidential race – but maybe not in an event organized by the Commission on Presidential Debates.
In a series of tweets, Trump suggested he might want to face off with the Democratic nominee in events organized by someone else.
"There are many options, including doing them directly & avoiding the nasty politics of this very biased Commission," Trump tweeted. "I will make a decision at an appropriate time but in the meantime, the Commission on Presidential Debates is NOT authorized to speak for me (or R’s)!"
The New York Times reported that Trump talked with aides about the possibility of sitting out the debates because of mistrust of the commission.
....The problem is that the so-called Commission on Presidential Debates is stacked with Trump Haters & Never Trumpers. 3 years ago they were forced to publicly apologize for modulating my microphone in the first debate against Crooked Hillary. As President, the debates are up...
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 16, 2019
The Commission on Presidential Debates is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that has organized and sponsored presidential and vice presidential debates since it was established in 1987.
In his tweet string, Trump claimed the commission "is stacked with Trump Haters & Never Trumpers," and he accused them of creating microphone problems in one of his 2016 debates with Democrat Hillary Clinton.
He provided no evidence to back up his complaints about intentional bias by the commission.
Anti-Trump Republican media strategist Rick Wilson tweeted, "Trump was setting the stage to never debate in the 2020 election."
Trump denied that claim, tweeting that "I look very much forward to debating whoever the lucky person is who stumbles across the finish line" in the Democratic primaries.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Trump says he'll debate Democrat in 2020 election, without commission