From Des Moines, Iowa
Escalating a spat with Fox News, Donald Trump on Tuesday said he would not attend a scheduled Republican debate here this week, denouncing network executives and accusing them of trying to use his popularity to make money at his expense.
“Let’s see how many people watch,” Trump said, boasting that his absence would mean fewer viewers.
“Fox is playing games,” Trump told reporters at a news conference.
“They can’t toy with me like they toy with everybody else,” Trump added.
Trump seemingly left himself a little wiggle room, saying his decision to skip the debate was “pretty much irrevocable.”
But later in the evening, his campaign issued a statement with a seemingly more definitive statement.
The threat to boycott the Fox News debate echoed similar threats that Trump has made before, like one debate where he demanded that CNN contribute money to veterans groups, or else he would not participate.
Trump backed off, and it was possible this threat might be no different.
But by sunrise on Wednesday, Trump wasn’t finished with his feud.