Donald Trump Asks Fox News A $5 Million Question That Could Have Changed Up The GOP Debate
Ahead of a much-anticipated debate boycott on Thursday night, Donald Trump claimed that Fox News apologized to him for comments that the Republican frontrunner felt were offensive. A statement from the conservative news outlet, however, tells somewhat of a less apologetic story. The statement claims that Trump asked Fox News to donate $5 million in order for him to appear at the debate instead of his own event.
In an interview with CNN just moments before his fundraising event in Iowa, Trump said that he had spoken with someone in leadership at Fox News prior to Thursday night. He explained that it was a very nice conversation and that he might have even participated in Thursday's GOP debate if the apology had come sooner. Trump had announced on Tuesday that he wouldn't participate in Thursday's primetime debate, hosted by Fox News, because of comments that the news outlet made about him.
Trump wouldn't tell CNN who he spoke with at Fox News, but Fox News ended up doing that for him. The news outlet released a statement shortly after the CNN interview aired, which said, among other things, that Trump spoke with Fox News CEO Roger Ailes. The statement didn't say anything about an apology, but it did claim that Trump asked for $5 million to appear on the debate stage:
The statement makes it seem like Trump may have canceled his event in order to appear at the Fox News debate, if only Fox News had given into his demand and made a donation. The statement also indicates that Fox News never intended to give into Trump. It's important to note that Fox News didn't necessarily deny that Ailes had apologized — rather, it just didn't confirm an apology.
With or without Fox News, Trump claimed during his event on Thursday night that he was able to raise more than $5 million for veterans' charities. The money was being collected online through a website affiliated with his personal foundation, the Donald J. Trump Foundation. From there, the website promised that Trump would send 100 percent of the donations received to relevant charities. During the event, Trump even recognized some of the major donors that contributed to his campaign for vets — including himself. He reportedly gave $1 million.
Meanwhile, Fox News went on with its primetime debate as planned. Megyn Kelly, who Trump has publicly feuded with, moderated as expected. It's as if Trump and Fox News had duct-taped America's television screens, and each stuck to his/her own side.