Donald Trump Says He’ll Skip Next GOP Debate

The campaign of Donald Trump says he'll take a pass on the upcoming debate

(Photo: Getty Images, Photo Illustration: R. A. Di Ieso/Vocativ)
Jan 26, 2016 at 8:09 PM ET

Republican frontrunner and political firebrand Donald Trump says he won’t participate in the GOP debate on Fox News Thursday night after yet another tiff with the network over its anchor Megyn Kelly’s planned role as a moderator.

At a press conference in Iowa on Tuesday, Trump said he would “probably” not participate in the debate and would “most likely” hold a competing event while it aired. Trump’s campaign manager then confirmed that his candidate was out of the debate.

“He’s definitely not participating in the Fox News debate,” Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, said. “His word is his bond.”

Lewandowski also told reporters, “We’ll have an event here in Iowa, with potentially another network, to raise money for Wounded Warriors and Fox will go from having probably 24 million viewers for the debate to, you know, 2 million viewers.”

Earlier Tuesday, Trump had posted a poll to his Twitter feed, asking his followers, “Should I do the #GOPdebate?” Attached was a link to an Instagram video of Trump complaining about Kelly’s supposed bias against him.

In response to Trump’s saying he would skip the debate, Fox News released a statement mocking Trump reportedly written by Fox News head Roger Ailes himself. “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,” the statement said.  Fellow Republican nominee Ted Cruz later challenged Trump to a one-on-one debate ahead of the Iowa caucuses on The Mark Levin Show. Meanwhile, Twitter users mocked Trump’s decision to bow out of Thursday’s event: