On Tuesday, Fox News announced that GOP front-runner Donald Trump decided to throw in the towel on Thursday’s debate, citing an ongoing feud over moderator Megyn Kelly.
“Probably, I won’t be doing the debate,” he told reporters in Iowa after receiving an endorsement from Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio. “I’m going to have something else in Iowa, do something where we raise money for the veterans and the wounded warriors.”
According to Politico, Fox issued the following statement, indicating that the Trump campaign threatened Kelly:
Fox Statement on Trump skipping debate pic.twitter.com/DlfwseFQKz
— Hadas Gold (@Hadas_Gold) January 27, 2016
— ⭐❤ Harriet Baldwin (@HarrietBaldwin) January 27, 2016
Trump demanded that Kelly not moderate the debate. Fox News declined to capitulate.
Newsmax said Trump made the decision after the network mocked him:
“I didn’t like the fact they sent out press releases toying, talking about Putin and playing games,” he said. “I don’t know what games Roger Ailes [Fox’s chairman and CEO] is playing, but what’s wrong over there, something’s wrong.
“But when they sent out that press release talking about, ‘I said why are these people playing games?’ Most likely I won’t be doing the debate.”
He said that Fox “can’t toy with me right they toy with everybody else. Let them have their debate and see how they do with the ratings.”
Trump called on Fox to donate earnings from the debate to veterans’ organizations. “They’re going to make a fortune with the debate. Let’s see how many people watch.”
As a result, Twitchy said, Megyn Kelly began trending on Twitter.
Megyn Kelly for President
— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) January 27, 2016
Trump camp manager @CLewandowski_ confirms to WaPo that Trump is “definitely not” participating in Fox New debate. “His word is his bond."
— Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) January 26, 2016
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) January 26, 2016
— el Sooper ن (@SooperMexican) January 27, 2016
Art of the deal? Hardly, said Newsbusters:
Any spin that poor Donald was wronged by Fox failing to dismiss Megyn Kelly is just beyond the pale. The Art of the Tantrum.
— NewsBusters (@newsbusters) January 27, 2016
Here’s a plan:
Maybe we should elect @megynkelly for President. Scares off potential world leaders.
— Matt Dawson (@SaintRPh) January 27, 2016
Who knows, it just might work…
Megyn Kelly wins the debate. Obvi.
— Amanda Carpenter (@amandacarpenter) January 27, 2016
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