Fox News was apparently amused that Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump took the unusual step of polling his Twitter followers about whether he should attend Thursday’s Fox-hosted primary debate.
Trump has complained that Fox host Megyn Kelly, one of the debate moderators, would be unfair to him.
In a Tuesday statement to Business Insider, a spokesperson for the network mused about whether global leaders would be fair to a potential President Trump.
“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 Fox spokesperson said.
Roger Ailes, the chairman and CEO of Fox, also said in a statement that his network wasn’t backing down on Kelly moderating its debate.
“Megyn Kelly is an excellent journalist and the entire network stands behind her — she will absolutely be on the debate stage on Thursday night,” Ailes said.
Earlier in the day, Trump posted a Twitter poll asking if he should go to the debate. As of this writing, more 16,000 people have responded, with 53% of those votes on behalf of “yes.” In an attached Instagram video, Trump decried Kelly’s supposed bias.
“Megyn Kelly’s really biased against me,” Trump said. “She knows that. I know that. Everybody knows that. Do you really think she could be fair at a debate?”
Trump has been launching raging 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 and Fox anchors Bret Baier and Chris Wallace — would be returning to moderate the network’s January debate.
Kelly has declined to directly respond to Trump, but Fox previously reacted to Trump’s potential debate boycott by asking why Trump was showing so much “fear” of 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,” a Fox spokesperson said Tuesday.
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