Fox News responded to Donald Trump’s announced boycott of the Thursday Republican primary debate in Iowa with a blunt statement of its own, accusing the billionaire businessman’s campaign of “terrorizations” toward its star host, Megyn Kelly.
Fox said Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said to a Fox News executive during a phone conversation over the weekend about the looming debate that Kelly experienced a “rough couple of days after that last debate” and he “would hate to have her go through that again,” the statement read.
The cable outlet then said Lewandowski was warned against issuing any more “threats,” but ignored that warning.
The full Fox News statement: “As many of our viewers know, FOX News is hosting a sanctioned debate in Des Moines, Iowa, on Thursday night, three days before the first votes of the 2016 election are cast in the Iowa Caucus. Donald Trump is refusing to debate seven of his fellow presidential candidates on stage that night, which is near unprecedented. We’re not sure how Iowans are going to feel about him walking away from them at the last minute, but it should be clear to the American public by now that this is rooted in one thing, Megyn Kelly, whom he has viciously attacked since August and has now spent four days demanding be removed from the debate stage.”
The message goes on: “Capitulating to politicians’ ultimatums about a debate moderator violates all journalistic standards, as do threats, including the one leveled by Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski toward Megyn Kelly. In a call last Saturday with a Fox News executive, Lewandowski stated that Megyn had a ‘rough couple of days after that last debate’ and he ‘would hate to have her go through that again.’ Lewandowski was warned not to level any more threats, but he continued to do so. We can’t give in to terrorizations toward any of our employees. Trump is still welcome at Thursday night’s debate and will be treated fairly, just as he has been during his 132 appearances on FOX News & Fox Business, but he can’t dictate the moderators or the questions.”
Trump, as WND reported, decided against appearing at the debate because a spokesperson from the network mocked Trump to several media outlets, something he viewed as Fox CEO Roger Ailes “playing games.”