Donald Trump will skip Thursday night’s Republican debate, his campaign announced in a statement Tuesday.
Trump had suggested earlier in the day that he was considering skipping the debate because he was upset with FOX News reporter Megyn Kelly, one of the event moderators.
“I’m not a fan of Megyn Kelly. I think she’s a third-rate reporter,” he said in Iowa Tuesday. “I think she frankly is not good at what she does. And I think they can do a lot better than Megyn Kelly.
“So I am going to be making a decision with Fox but I probably won’t bother doing the debate.”
Trump had also posted a poll on his Twitter account asking his followers to decide if he should be a part of the debate. So far, over 100,000 people have voted.
Fox News responded by trolling Trump as the conservative news organization released a satirical statement to several news organizations which read:
“We learned from a secret back channel that the Ayatollah and Putin both intend to treat Donald Trump unfairly when they meet with him if he becomes president. A nefarious source tells us that Trump has his own secret plan to replace the Cabinet with his Twitter followers to see if he should even go to those meetings.”
Trump was less-than-thrilled by Fox’s release.
“Unlike the very stupid, highly incompetent people running our country into the ground, Mr. Trump knows when to walk away,” the statement read. “Roger Ailes and FOX News think they can toy with him, but Mr. Trump doesn’t play games.”
The leading Republican candidate believes he will damage the organization’s bottom line by skipping the event.
“Let’s see how much money Fox is going to make on the debate without me,” Trump said.
Trump plans to do a charity event at the same time as the debate.
“He will not be participating in the FOX News debate and will instead host an event in Iowa to raise money for the Veterans and Wounded Warriors, who have been treated so horribly by our all talk, no action politicians,” the statement read. “Like running for office as an extremely successful person, this takes guts and it is the kind mentality our country needs in order to Make America Great Again.”
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