In the days leading up to the Republican Iowa caucus, candidate Donald Trump claimed he would most likely not participate due to allegedly unfair treatment by the Fox News network and moderator Megyn Kelly.
Trump is still angry with the conservative media network for the questions that were asked during the first Republican debate, believing that specific questions were targeted at him only to generate higher television ratings.
At first, the billionaire real estate mogul directed his frustration at Kelly, saying, “I have no respect for Megyn Kelly. I don’t think she’s very good at what she does. I think she’s highly overrated.”
When Fox News didn’t remove Kelly as a moderator for the debate, Trump argued that it was the network as whole that was treating him unfairly.
Trump says, “I was not treated well by Fox. They came out with this ridiculous PR statement. It was like drawn up by a child, and it was a taunt.”
Attempting to bargain with the network, Trump said he would only attend the debate if he was paid $5 million, which he would donate to wounded veterans. Fox News declined this offer.
With no further negotiation to appear onstage at the debate on January 29, Trump did not attend. The other Republican presidential candidates took this opportunity to question Trump’s decision. Jeb Bush accused Trump of being scared of tough questions from Megyn Kelly. Mike Huckabee, who had been given a slot in the so-called “undercard” debate, offered to take Donald Trump’s place on the main stage.
In lieu of attending the debate, and amid criticism surrounding his decision, Donald Trump hosted a fundraising event for American military veterans.