A public feud between the Republican presidential front-runner and Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly led to Trump’s decision on Tuesday to bow out of the final GOP debate before the Iowa caucuses.
“It was a taunt, and I said, ‘How much do you take?'” Trump said, calling the statement “childish”. I wouldn’t be shocked if CNN and/or MSNBC cover that event while Fox has the debate going, but again, even though he’s not on the debate stage, all we’re talking about is Donald Trump.
Trump, who called his decision “pretty close to irrevocable” in the press conference, said he’d hold an Iowa event at the same time as the debate to raise money for wounded veterans. “Robust debate. Don’t walk away from it”, O’Reilly said.
The Wrap reports that a Fox News spokesman says Trump isn’t backing out of his appearance with host Bill O’Reilly. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz earlier said that if Trump is “afraid” to face questions, “that does not bode well for what kind of commander-in-chief you’d make”.
“I don’t think not showing up is good for America”, O’Reilly said.
The fallout began when presenter Megyn Kelly accused the NY billionaire of misogyny in the first debate last August and he responded the next day by accusing her of having blood “coming out of everywhere”.
Trump tweeted Wednesday that the statement is what pushed him over the edge.
Cruz first chided Trump after his rival bowed out of Thursday night’s GOP debate in Des Moines. “But I’m not going to take any action against it.’ Don’t you think that’s the right thing to do?”
Cruz told NBC News on Wednesday night that candidates have to “show the respect and the humility to submit yourself to the voters and answer their questions”.
“It hurts, it takes away from the campaign and it makes it look like they have something to hide, especially on the eve of the election”, Yepsen added.
“Capitulating to politicians’ ultimatums about a debate moderator violates all journalistic standards, as do threats”, the Fox News network said in a statement.
“Megyn Kelly is an excellent journalist and the entire network stands behind her – she will absolutely be on the debate stage on Thursday night”, he said.
The previous six Republican debates have seen record-breaking ratings, featuring the slowly dwindling “cast of thousands” that is the GOP presidential field.
Even after Trump bowed out of Thursday’s debate, the Twitter battle raged on between the candidate and Fox News.
O’Reilly defended Kelly during his Trump interview.