Trump to skip debate: Donald Trump Debate
Published: January 27, 2016
Trump to skip debate: Donald Trump Debate, Instead of attending the debate, “We’ll have an event here in Iowa, with potentially another network, to raise money for wounded warriors,” campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said. “And Fox will go from probably having 24 million viewers to about 2 million.”
The fracas escalated quickly on Tuesday, but was the culmination of months of tension between the GOP frontrunner and the Fox News host Megyn Kelly.
At the end of the day, Fox said Trump “is still welcome” at the debate “and will be treated fairly,” but the network also slammed Trump for “viciously” attacking Kelly and accused Lewandowski of threatening her.
In a statement, a Fox News spokesperson said Lewandowski told a Fox executive last Saturday that Kelly had a “rough couple of days after that last debate” and he “would hate to have her go through that again.”
“Lewandowski was warned not to level any more threats, but he continued to do so,” Fox said. “We can’t give in to terrorizations toward any of our employees.”
#Break: Fox News reacts to Donald Trump:: pic.twitter.com/9AtZuPwIsU
— Dylan Byers (@DylanByers) January 27, 2016
Lewandowski did not immediately respond to that allegation.
Trump’s apparent decision changes the dynamic for Thursday’s event, which is the last GOP debate before the all-important Iowa caucuses.
Without Trump, Ted Cruz will take center stage. Cruz also challenged Trump to go mano a mano.
Other television networks may jump at the opportunity to televise a Trump event while the debate is taking place on Fox. No details about Trump’s plans were immediately available, however.
“Let’s see how much money Fox is going to make on the debate without me, okay?” Trump said at an evening news conference. He asserted that the ratings will sink if he’s not there.
In a followup statement later in the evening, Trump’s campaign said Trump “knows when to walk away.”
“Roger Ailes and Fox News think they can toy with him, but Mr. Trump doesn’t play games,” the campaign said. Ailes is the chairman of Fox News.
So now the network and the candidate are at loggerheads. Political observers are flabbergasted — as they have been throughout his campaign. Meanwhile, Trump supporters at a rally in Iowa sounded amused and intrigued by the news.
Some analysts said Trump is using his tiff with Kelly as an excuse to skip the debate. This theory postulates that he doesn’t want to go head to head with Cruz just a few days before the caucuses.
Cruz jabbed Trump about the decision, remarking, “If she asks him mean questions, his hair might stand on end.”
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