The moderators for the first Republican debate of the 2024 presidential election cycle were revealed Tuesday morning.
Longtime Fox News hosts Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum will be the tandem tasked with handling the event on the network, which is sure to be full of exciting moments.
Deadline broke the news, noting that former President Trump’s participation is still up in the air:
Fox News’s Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum will moderate the first Republican primary debate on Aug. 23.
The event at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee is expected to be a big ratings getter, as was the first GOP primary debate in 2015, also aired on Fox News.
The unknown is whether Donald Trump will participate, something that would undoubtedly add to the attention of the event.
The debate is scheduled from 9 p.m. ET to 11 p.m. ET.
Deadline also noted that Trump’s stance on Fox News has shifted since he vowed not to participate in the event. He had also previously expressed disinterest in engaging with Baier specifically after Fox News’ 2020 election coverage. But last night, he joined Baier for a sitdown interview, and despite the conversation getting heated at multiple points, Trump has seemingly warmed up to the idea of spreading his message through the cable giant once again.
The New York Times reported last month that Trump was resistant to having Baier question him at a debate, given the Fox News anchor’s coverage of the 2020 presidential election. But since then, Trump agreed to sit down with Baier on Monday for an interview, in which the Fox anchor told him, “You lost the 2020 election,” after Trump claimed that he won. Trump also offered comments on his recent indictment on charges of withholding classified information from federal officials.
Baier is Fox News’ chief political anchor and executive editor of Special Report with Bret Baier. MacCallum anchors and is executive editor of The Story with Martha MacCallum. Baier and MacCallum have co-anchored other Fox News special events coverage, including the midterms, and moderated a town hall with Trump at the Lincoln Memorial in 2020.
During his Monday interview with Baier, Trump told the Fox host that he is no longer a fan of the network. He also pushed back against special counsel Jack Smith’s federal indictment and pointed to President Biden’s own extensive classified documents scandal.
“For me, at times, the Washington Post, various people – even Fox because, you know, I’m no great fan of Fox anymore,” Trump told Baier. “But you’re sitting here,” the Fox host replied. “Well, you’ve gotta get your word out somehow, right?” Trump shot back.
“They fought me very hard in 2016, very much like the way they’re fighting me now – very, very hard and, I won. Then they became very nice,” Trump said.
Baier also claimed that more independents watch Fox News than any other cable news network. “More independent voters watch Fox News than any other TV source,” he said. “A whole lot less than used to watch it,” Trump immediately fired back.