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Trump will hold a closed-door fundraiser during the next Republican debate

It will be the first time he won't hold a public-facing counterprogramming event during one of the debates.
Image: Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump has not attended any of the Republican presidential primary debates this cycle. Andrew Harnik / AP file

Former President Trump will host a closed-door fundraiser in Florida during next week’s Republican presidential debate, according to two sources familiar with the matter. It will be the first time he will not hold a public counterprogramming event. 

The fundraiser will be hosted in Hallandale Beach for Trump’s joint fundraising committee, which includes both his campaign and his leadership PAC, said one of the sources familiar with the planning. Hosting the event will be real estate developers Steve Witkoff, Howard Lorber and Kristin Bell.

In a fundraising email sent to supporters this week, Trump invited recipients to make a contribution to his joint fundraising committee to enter a contest to be his VIP guest at the Hallandale Beach event, which the email dubbed an “end-of-year” reception. 

Trump has skipped the first three Republican debates, and he intends to do so again next Wednesday, while some of his rivals will be onstage in Alabama. NewsNation is hosting the debate. 

On Tuesday, the day before the debate, Trump will be doing a town hall event with Fox News host Sean Hannity in Iowa, a Republican official with knowledge of the plans told NBC News. Fox News did not immediately return a request for comment. The New York Times first reported on the town hall.

A recorded interview between Trump and conservative pundit Tucker Carlson aired on the social media platform X during the first GOP debate. Trump held a campaign event at an auto parts company in Michigan during the second debate and hosted a campaign rally near the venue for the third debate in Miami.  

The campaign did not respond to a question about why he decided not to host a public-facing event this time.