Trump turns his back on Fox News, forces GOP debate cancellation

Monday's GOP debate was cancelled after Trump declined to attend during a "Fox & Friends" interview

By Sophia Tesfaye

Senior Politics Editor

Published March 16, 2016 6:03PM (EDT)

  (AP/Reuters/Fred Prouser/John Locher/Frank Franklin II/Photo montage by Salon)
(AP/Reuters/Fred Prouser/John Locher/Frank Franklin II/Photo montage by Salon)

The thirteenth Republican debate, originally scheduled to be hosted by Fox News on Monday in Salt Lake City, was canceled after Donald Trump appeared on the network Wednesday's morning after a hugely victorious Super, Super, Super Tuesday to personally reject the invite.

"What’s the point? Haven’t we had enough?” a triumphant Trump asked "Fox & Friends" host Brian Kilmeade on Wednesday. Despite desperate pleading from Kilmeade's co-hosts, as well, Trump held firm , refusing to attend Monday's debate. Shortly after Ohio Gov. John Kasich followed suit.

“How many times can the same people ask you the same question?” an irritated Trump asked, eager to sell his victories Tuesday night as a clear sign the Republican Party should unite behind his candidacy. Trump told Kilmeade and company that he “was very surprised when I heard that Fox called for the debate."

"Nobody told me about it, and I will not be there, no,” Trump said. The Trump campaign has said the billionaire real estate developer will be delivering a speech in Washington, D.C. to the annual gathering of theAmerican Israel Public Affairs Committee or AIPAC Monday evening instead.

“This morning, Donald Trump announced he would not be participating in the debate,” Michael Clemente, the executive vice president of news at the network, said in a statement. “Shortly afterward, John Kasich’s campaign announced that without Trump at the debate, Kasich would not participate. Ted Cruz has expressed a willingness to debate Trump or Kasich — or both. But obviously, there needs to be more than one participant. So the Salt Lake City debate is cancelled.”

Trump's publicly dismissal of Fox's latest debate follows another anti-Megyn Kelly Twitter tantrum from the Republican frontrunner. As election night results were coming in Tuesday night, Trump assailed his apparent arch nemesis:

By Sophia Tesfaye

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's senior editor for news and politics, and resides in Washington, D.C. You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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