GOP Presidential candidate Donald Trump signaled Tuesday (Jan. 26) he "probably won't bother doing" the Fox News-sponsored Jan. 28 GOP presidential debate in Iowa in advance of the Feb. 1 caucus there.
It was not clear whether that was a decision, or more fodder in his ongoing attacks on the network and debate moderator Megyn Kelly.
He said he would do something else in Iowa, perhaps raising money for veterans.
Over on Fox, Brett Baier, who is co-moderating the Jan. 28 with Kelly and Chris Wallace, said that there would be a debate, Trump or not.
Trump has been criticizing Fox's Kelly this week, whose tough questions he did not like when she co-moderated the previous Fox debate, tweeting that she was biased and signaling he might not participate in the debate.
At the news conference, Trump again criticized Kelly, said Fox was "playing games" and trying to "make a fortune."
The "playing games" was a reference to a tongue-in-cheek statement Fox put out following Trump's attacks on Kelly: "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," the statement read, according to numerous reports.
CNN political director David Chalian was pondering whether there would be an empty lectern if Trump did not show, and said it would be an opportunity for his opponents to essentially free shots at him.
Fox said Trump was still invited and would be in the center position on the stage if he shows.
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.
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