The Donald Trump and Fox News clash has reached new heights. Never before has a presidential debate been so full of drama and suspense as one of the candidates threatens to pull out of the GOP debate over a news anchor.
According to Daily Mail, Joe Scarborough revealed Wednesday morning on Morning Joe that Fox News CEO Roger Ailes had been trying to reach out to Donald Trump’s wife, Melania Trump, and his daughter, Ivanka Trump, in an effort to bring him back to the GOP debate scheduled for Thursday night.
Ailes purportedly hopes that by contacting Melania and Ivanka, he’ll somehow change Trump’s mind, but the GOP juggernaut will only speak to Fox News head, Rupert Murdoch.
All of this revolves around the Donald Trump and Megyn Kelly feud. The two have had an ongoing feud since the Republican debate held last August, in which Kelly confronted Trump about his harsh views of various women and the names he’s been known to call them. Since that time, the billionaire businessman has publicly slammed Megyn Kelly as a “lightweight reporter.”
On Wednesday morning, Donald Trump’s campaign manager — Corey Lewandowski — appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America and stated that Kelly is “completely obsessed” with the presidential hopeful.
— New York Magazine (@NYMag) January 27, 2016
Ailes isn’t getting anywhere trying to call Donald Trump’s wife and daughter — the two most important women in his life. Trump is refusing calls from Ailes and will only speak to Murdoch.
“Per our sources, Roger Ailes was calling Ivanka, he was trying to get in touch with Trump, he was calling Melania, people that he’s got a good relationship with, they love Roger. They have a great respect for him,” Scarborough said on Wednesday’s edition of Morning Joe. “But at this point, Trump’s only gonna talk to Rupert, and they’re going to figure it out.”
Murdoch reportedly wants Michael Bloomberg to join the other contenders on the debate Thursday night. He wrote on Twitter Wednesday: “This is Bloomberg’s last chance. You never know until your hat is in the ring! Events change everything, especially during elections.”
According to New York Magazine, it’s unknown if Rupert Murdoch and Donald Trump have talked in the heat of this Fox News feud, but this could be a bad thing for Ailes since Murdoch places so much trust in him to generate $1 billion in profit for the network. It’s also noted that Murdoch has attended news meetings at Fox during a health crisis that required Ailes to take an extended leave of absence.
“Succession planning at Fox is very much on Murdoch’s agenda. If Ailes loses his grip on the Trump situation — and right now it looks like he is — Murdoch will have another reason to worry about the stability of his most valuable asset,” Gabriel Sherman wrote in the report.
But Politico breaks it down differently.
“Fox News chairman Roger Ailes chose Megyn Kelly over Donald Trump.
That’s the key to understanding the dispute that led to Trump’s withdrawal from the network’s Thursday-night debate, according to a source familiar with the situation.”
And the Los Angeles Times echoed these sentiments.
“When faced with the choice between Trump, the candidate who has become a ratings magnet in the campaign season, and Kelly, its home-grown rising star, Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes never budged in his support for Kelly.
Ailes even personally authored the mocking statement (“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…”) which prompted Trump to announce he will skip the debate.”
The New York Times summed it up, perhaps, the simplest of all.
“In his latest debate standoff, Mr. Trump was making Fox News an offer it had to refuse: his presence at its debate in return for veto power over Ms. Kelly.”
Full statement from Fox News on Donald Trump declining to participate in Thursday's debate https://t.co/orHseTKMkJ
— Fox News (@FoxNews) January 27, 2016
One would think that with Trump’s way of doing business, even the CEO of Fox News would know trying to contact his wife and daughter wouldn’t be the way to get him back to the GOP debate. It’s probably a move Donald Trump views as weak since Melania Trump and Ivanka Trump most likely stand behind him on the boycott against Fox.
Will Donald Trump really skip the GOP presidential debate, or will some sort of agreement be reached before it airs? Fox News is fully supportive Megyn Kelly as being one of the moderators for the debate. Trump is defiantly against her presence if he goes on stage.
Whether Donald Trump resolves this clash with Fox News remains to be seen, but it appears maybe not. Trump is adamant Megyn Kelly be eliminated from the moderators’ panel during the debate in Des Moines, Iowa. Fox News released a statement on Wednesday, explaining that they cannot give into “terrorizations toward any of our employees.”
[Photos by AP Photo/John Minchillo & Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP]