Donald J. Trump announced on Monday night that he would not appear for the next presidential debate, signaling what is now a full-scale repudiation of what he called the “rigged” system.
“I am not participating in the second debate, at least not on Saturday night,” Mr. Trump said at a press conference at Trump Tower. “I thought it was on. I just learned last night. I know nothing about it.”
Mr. Trump’s boycott was prompted by what he called “rigged” NBC News ratings — who gave Hillary Clinton a bigger audience for the first debate than he did for his. But Trump was also directed by the Republican National Committee, which asked him to commit to the debate.
Mr. Trump indicated that he had withdrawn his support for Mr. Trump’s choice for his vice presidential running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence.
Mr. Trump also gave a nod to how the next debate was likely to work: While the journalists, debate organizers and the candidates had for weeks been preparing for a debate in which they might be seated at a desk and face each other, Mr. Trump said: “You’re going to be on your feet.”