A Fox News spokesperson said Monday that the network was “surprised” that Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump was showing such “fear” of host Megyn Kelly.
“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,” the Fox spokesperson told Business Insider in a statement.
The statement was reacting to a new CNN interview in which Trump suggested he would consider not attending the Fox-hosted primary debate on Thursday because Kelly is set to be one of the three moderators. Trump claimed that she is too biased to treat him fairly.
“I’ll see. If I think I’m going to be treated unfairly, I’d do something else. But I don’t think she can treat me fairly, actually,” Trump said. “I think she’s very biased. And I don’t think she can treat me fairly. But that doesn’t mean I don’t do the debates. I like doing the debate. I’ve won every single debate, according to every poll.”
Trump has been launching attacks against Kelly since last August, when she was one of three moderators at the first Fox-hosted debate. Kelly infuriated Trump at the time by asking a critical question about disparaging comments he’s made about women’s looks.
Fox News told The Los Angeles Times in August that the three moderators of that debate — Kelly, as well as Fox anchors Bret Baier and Chris Wallace — would be returning to moderate the network’s January debate.
Trump stressed to CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer on Monday that he was not a fan of how Kelly moderated that first debate, which he said he nevertheless won.
“I thought she was very unfair in the last debate,” he said. “A lot of people said I won that debate. … But I’m not a fan of Megyn Kelly. I don’t like her. She probably doesn’t like me. And that’s OK. But she better be fair. I’d like to go to the debate. I enjoy the debates. I’ve done well in the debates. Every single poll has said I’ve won every single debate. But we’re going to see what happens. It’s going to be exciting.”
Trump has toyed with not attending debates in the past.
He demanded CNBC’s debate be two hours instead of three and he urged CNN to donate millions of dollars in ad revenue — boosted by his presence on the stage — to charity. CNBC’s debate was ultimately two hours long, but CNN didn’t budge on the charity-contribution issue. Trump attended both debates.
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