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Sunday, December 17, 2017

With Fox News Channel hosting the final Republican debate before votes are cast in the Iowa caucuses, the biggest star is someone who might not actually be there: Donald Trump, who dug in Wednesday on his vow to skip the debate because the network won’t remove anchor Megyn Kelly as a moderator.

On Wednesday evening, the Trump campaign officially announced details of what he will be doing rather than debating: “Donald J. Trump Special Event to Benefit Veterans Organizations” (with “additional details to follow” — presumably a list of participating veterans groups), to be held at Drake University in Des Moines.

But first he had to make a TV appearance — on Fox News.

Trump showed up on The O’Reilly Factor, where host Bill O’Reilly kept trying to tell him that he should join in the debate. Trump stood firm, however, insisting he wouldn’t put up with Megyn Kelly. Moreover, he complained about the number of debates and the loser candidates that have been invited to them.

In the second segment, O’Reilly begged Trump outright to go to the debate — to which Trump responded that Bill had privately promised him, when he agreed to the interview, not to ask that question.

Earlier, on Wednesday morning, Trump tweeted the following attack on Kelly:

He then followed up, a bit oddly, by complaining that Fox News publicists were behaving immaturely when they had ridiculed his threats to skip the debate:

Because if there’s one thing Donald Trump couldn’t ever stand, it’s a childishly written and taunting statement made to get attention.

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