DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Donald Trump’s campaign manager says Trump is skipping the next Republican debate.
The Republican candidates are set to square off in the Fox News debate Thursday night, their last debate before Monday’s Iowa caucuses.
But Trump told a Tuesday news conference he most likely won’t show up. But campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said during a Tuesday evening news conference in Marshalltown, Iowa, that the GOP front-runner “will not be participating in the Fox News debate Thursday.”
Trump is criticizing Fox News for “playing games” and for including anchor Megyn Kelly as a debate moderator. He says Kelly is a third-rate reporter who is bad at her job and shouldn’t be allowed to participate.
Trump says Fox will make a fortune off the debate and that he asked the network to donate to wounded veterans groups.
Instead of the debate, Trump says he will probably hold his own event in Iowa for wounded veterans.
Trump’s media team released a statement saying:
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.