Donald Trump says he will not participate in the Fox News debate on Thursday.
Speaking at a campaign rally in Iowa on Tuesday, Trump said, “I’m not a fan of Megyn Kelly [one of the moderators]. I think she’s a third-rate reporter. I think she frankly is not good at what she does and I think they could do a lot better than Megyn Kelly and so I’m going to be making a decision with Fox but I probably won’t bother doing the debate.” (RELATED: Drama Continues: Trump Questions Megyn Kelly’s Bias Ahead Of Fox News Debate [VIDEO])
According to The Washington Post, Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said Trump is “definitely not participating in the Fox News debate… His word is his bond.”
Trump said that Fox News “is playing games, yeah. Fox is going to make a fortune. I told Fox you should give money to the wounded warriors.” (RELATED: Donald Trump Reignites Drama With Megyn Kelly Ahead Of Fox News Debate)
“I see they picked me as number one,” Trump said. “Not only number one, number one by far. But probably I won’t be doing to debate. I’m going to have something else in Iowa. We’ll do something where we raise money for the veterans and the wounded warriors.” (RELATED: Fox News Debate Lineup Set [VIDEO])
UPDATE From The Trump Campaign
(New York, NY) January 26th, 2016 – As someone who wrote one of the best-selling business books of all time, The Art of the Deal, who has built an incredible company, including some of the most valuable and iconic assets in the world, and as someone who has a personal net worth of many billions of dollars, Mr. Trump knows a bad deal when he sees one. FOX News is making tens of millions of dollars on debates, and setting ratings records (the highest in history), where as in previous years they were low-rated afterthoughts.
Unlike the very stupid, highly incompetent people running our country into the ground, Mr. Trump knows when to walk away. Roger Ailes and FOX News think they can toy with him, but Mr. Trump doesn’t play games. There have already been six debates, and according to all online debate polls including Drudge, Slate, Time Magazine, and many others, Mr. Trump has won all of them, in particular the last one. Whereas he has always been a job creator and not a debater, he nevertheless truly enjoys the debating process – and it has been very good for him, both in polls and popularity.
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. 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.
Update Number Two From A Fox News Spokesperson
As many of our viewers know, FOX News is hosting a sanctioned debate in Des Moines, Iowa on Thursday night, three days before the first votes of the 2016 election are cast in the Iowa Caucus. Donald Trump is refusing to debate seven of his fellow presidential candidates on stage that night, which is near unprecedented. We’re not sure how Iowans are going to feel about him walking away from them at the last minute, but it should be clear to the American public by now that this is rooted in one thing – Megyn Kelly, whom he has viciously attacked since August and has now spent four days demanding be removed from the debate stage. Capitulating to politicians’ ultimatums about a debate moderator violates all journalistic standards, as do threats, including the one leveled by Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski toward Megyn Kelly. In a call on Saturday with a Fox News executive, Lewandowski stated that Megyn 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. We can’t give in to terrorizations toward any of our employees. Trump is still welcome at Thursday night’s debate and will be treated fairly, just as he has been during his 132 appearances on FOX News & FOX Business, but he can’t dictate the moderators or the questions.
Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, John Kasich and Rand Paul are scheduled to debate on Thursday’s main stage.
The happy hour debate is scheduled to include Carly Fiorina, Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee and Jim Gilmore.