UPDATE 11:09 p.m. ET — Fox News and Donald Trump both released statements Tuesday night clarifying their positions on the matter. You can read the statements in full here.
Donald Trump‘s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski confirmed to CNN that the GOP frontrunner would not attend the next Republican debate, which is scheduled to air on Fox News Thursday.
Lewandowski noted that there would be no further negotiations with Fox News, and said that the campaign would possibly hold a competing event in Iowa to air on a rival network.
Apparently hearing the news live on CNN, Trump spokesperson Katrina Pierson said, “He doesn’t have to do the debate.”
Earlier Tuesday evening, Trump had told reporters in Iowa that he would “most likely” not attend the debate, because Fox News had refused to accede to his demand that co-moderator Megyn Kelly be removed for what he said were issues of “bias.” Trump also took issue with the network for ridiculing him with “wise-guy press releases.”
“Now let’s see how many people watch,” he told reporters, multiple times.
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