Donald Trump was expected to participate in last week’s Iowa Republican debate just hours before it commenced, moderator Megyn Kelly told Jimmy Fallon on “The Tonight Show” Thursday night.
When asked by Fallon whether she was prepared for the possibility of Trump’s attendance despite the GOP candidate’s announcement days earlier that he would be skipping the event, Kelly said, “Yes. There was a report that came out late that day of the debate … it was like 2:30, 3:30 in the afternoon, saying he’s coming.”
That account contradicts previous reports that Trump was unwavering in his boycott of the Fox News debate, which Kelly had some fun with on “The Tonight Show” at the billionaire’s expense.
“He said it was about me, and then he said it was about a statement my boss [Roger Ailes] put out, and then he said is was about a gum wrapper on the floor,” the host of “The Kelly File” said flippantly about Trump’s explanations for skipping the debate. “There were a lot of reasons that he gave, so I don’t know exactly why he didn’t show up.”
But his absence wasn’t a foregone conclusion, according to Kelly, who says the last-minute change of plan played havoc with the moderators’ preparations.
“So, we had just pulled all of our Trump questions out of our debate files. Then we put them all back in. When we went out there, we had one big Trump pile and one big non-Trump pile.”