Donald Trump says Fox News called to apologize moments before Thursday’s Republican presidential debate, but it was too late.
In an interview with CNN, the GOP candidate revealed that someone from the network called to apologize for the PR statement that led to him pulling out of the scheduled debate.
“They called me just now … they want me there very badly,” Trump said on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” pointing out that it was still too late for him to attend, as he had already scheduled a fundraiser to support veterans for the same night.
He declined to reveal who from the network called him to say sorry.
Trump also claimed that the fundraiser will earn “more than five million dollars” to support veterans, though he has not revealed which organizations will receive the money.
“I think they will hear me,” he said when asked whether or not it was important that his supporters hear his presence in the debate. “We’re going to have more people than they’ll have.”
Later Thursday, Fox News issued a statement claiming Trump asked for a $5 million charitable contribution to get him to take part in the last Republican debate before the Iowa caucuses.
“Roger Ailes had three brief conversations with Donald Trump today about possibly appearing at the debate — there were not multiple calls placed by Ailes to Trump,” the statement read.
“In the course of those conversations, we acknowledged his concerns about a satirical observation we made in order to quell the attacks on Megyn Kelly, and prevent her from being smeared any further.
“Furthermore, Trump offered to appear at the debate upon the condition that FOX News contribute $5 million to his charities. We explained that was not possible and we could not engage in a quid pro quo, nor could any money change hands for any reason.”