If you haven't paid attention to Donald Trump in a few days, congrats. But strap yourself in, because Donald Trump just announced that he's backing out of Thursday's Fox News debate because Megyn Kelly will be there—after he held a Twitter poll on whether he should do it and then Fox made fun of him. Yeah. All that just happened, much of it today (except his feud with Kelly, which dates back to August). Let's go back to early this afternoon, when Donald Trump posted a Twitter poll and an Instagram video asking his followers/supporters whether he should participate in the Fox News debate and whether the "very biased" Megyn Kelly could possibly be fair:
At press time, The Donald's poll is heavily in favor of doing the debate, although it's unclear where that stood when he finally decided to pull out. It's a decision that may have been influenced by the surprisingly sarcastic and funny way in which Fox News chose to stand by their anchor in a statement to Mediaite:
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.
If that quote upset Donald Trump, he made a steadfast decision to let everyone know by tweeting out an angry link to that article.
Nevertheless, Trump was still just flirting with leaving the debate at this point, and roughly 20 minutes later, Fox News tweeted out the debate lineup, complete with its frontrunner blonde centerpiece:
Less than half an hour later, the New York Times reported, Trump announced his withdrawal at a press conference in Iowa, calling his decision not to participate "irrevocable." Mr. Trump further elaborated on his decision to not let a journalist he dislikes talk to him, saying "It’s time that somebody plays grownup," right after he said, "Let’s see how much money Fox is going to make on the debate without me." As irrevocable as Mr. Trump says this decision is, it's certainly possible that he thought Fox would budge on having Megyn Kelly host the debate. After all, just last night Trump (re)tweeted:
However, when Mediaite contacted Fox again later, Roger Ailes, Fox News's CEO, replied with another statement praising Kelly and promising she would be on the stage. Kelly initially angered Trump in August by asking him about his comments regarding women, in particular by giving Carly Fiorina the opportunity to respond to his cracks about her face. Trump responded with Twitter rants and something he insists wasn't a period joke.
One thing is for sure if Trump's not at the debate, though: he'll probably be yelling at her on Twitter. Oh, and congrats to Rand Paul, who gets to be in the debate again.