Donald Trump Pulls Out Of Fox News Debate Moderated By Megyn Kelly

Donald Trump has decided against participating in Thursday night’s Megyn Kelly-moderated GOP debate on the Fox News Channel.

In a press conference in Iowa where the debate is scheduled to occur, Trump said he probably won’t appear, leaving some wiggle room, but his campaign manager Corey Lewandowski subsequently announced that the GOP front-runner definitely won’t show up.

The debate is 48 hours away, and this could be a negotiating ploy of some kind, however, or he could simply change his mind.

Ditching the debate is a high-stakes maneuver, with the Iowa Caucus just a few days away, when voters will formally express their presidential preference for the first time.

The Trump campaign plans to stage an alternative event to raise money for U.S. military veterans, particularly those wounded in combat. This event may be televised on another network simultaneous with the Fox News debate which will air from 9 to 11 p.m Eastern.

As everyone knows, Trump is on record as not being a fan of Megyn Kelly since her line of questioning in the first GOP debate in August during which she implied that he was a misogynist.

A former corporate attorney, Kelly, 44, has strongly insisted that the two-hour candidate forum back in August was “good journalism” rather than “gotcha” journalism.

A couple of days ago, he took to Twitter to suggest that Kelly should step down as moderator because of a conflict of interest and bias. Today he referred to the Fox News superstar as a third-rate reporter.

Beyond Megyn Kelly, what apparently really got to The Donald was a snarky press release issued by the network today.

“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 — a nefarious source tells us that Trump has his own secret plan to replace the Cabinet with his Twitter followers to see if he should even go to those meetings.”

Prior to that, a network rep said that “Sooner or later Donald Trump, even if he’s president, is going to have to learn that he doesn’t get to pick the journalists — we’re very surprised he’s willing to show that much fear about being questioned by Megyn Kelly,” Politico reported.

A former corporate attorney, Kelly, 44, has strongly insisted that the two-hour candidate forum back in August was “good journalism” rather than “gotcha” journalism.

Trump’s trump card perhaps is that Fox News GOP debate in August set an all-time record for a non-sports cable event with 24 million viewers, and viewership probably will suffer substantially on Thursday night without him.

He had this to say about the likelihood of skipping the upcoming GOP debate because Fox News is “playing games.”

“The point is with me, they’re dealing with somebody that’s a little bit different. They can’t toy with me like they toy with everybody else so let them have their debate and let’s see how they do with their ratings. Why should the networks continue getting rich on these debates? Give some to the Wounded Warriors. You’re making a fortune. Let’s see how much money Fox is going to make on the debate without me, ok? Let’s see.”

To the surprise of no one, Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes backed the host of The Kelly File, NBC News noted. “Megyn Kelly is an excellent journalist and the entire network stands behind her — she will absolutely be on the debate stage on Thursday night.”

This controversy will boost Megyn Kelly’s profile even higher, which to some degree can be a double-edged sword.

Trump received a big boost today as he and Senator Ted Cruz seek the all-important evangelical vote in Iowa when Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. endorsed his presidential candidacy.

According to a new CNN poll, Donald Trump now receives 41 percent of the GOP vote nationally, a new high and double his nearest competitor, with two-thirds of the Republican electorate expecting him to ultimately win the nomination.

As expected, Trump rivals and foes are already bashing him on social media along the lines of “if you’re afraid of Megyn Kelly, how will you deal with ISIS, China, Putin, Iran” and so forth. Parenthetically, since the Democrats won’t hold any debates on Fox News, it might be said that they too are afraid of Megyn Kelly.

Do you think that at crunch time, Donald Trump will really skip the GOP debate on Thursday night even if Megyn Kelly is still one of the anchors?