Claiming bias by Fox News, presidential candidate Donald Trump said Tuesday that he would boycott the final Republican debate before the Iowa caucuses.
The Fox News-Google GOP debate, moderated by Megyn Kelly and hosts Bret Baier and Chris Wallace, is scheduled to air at 9 p.m. Thursday.
After Trump lashed out at Kelly, whom Trump had accused of being "unfair" to him in the first GOP debate, Fox News issued a tongue-in-cheek statement saying, "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.
Trump then reacted angrily, saying the statement swayed his decision to boycott the debate.
Trump questioned what the ratings for the debate would be in his absence.
Trump, who owns a home in Bedford and golf clubs in Briarcliff Manor and Hopewell Junction, is the leading Republican in numerous polls. According to Politico, his team is working to schedule an event to compete with the scheduled Thursday night debate.