Trump Agrees to Participate in CNN Debate
Donald Trump has agreed to participate in CNN’s debate and CNN didn’t have to pay Trump $5 million.
“When you’re leading in the polls, I think it’s too big of a risk to not do the debate,” Trump told The Washington Post in a Thursday interview.
“I don’t think I have the kind of leverage I’d like to have in a deal and I don’t want to take the chance of hurting my campaign. So I’ll do the debate,” the GOP front-runner continued.
“If I don’t do ’em, the problem will be, ‘Oh, he’s chicken, he’s using that as an excuse.’ Every single person doing the debate would knock the hell out of me and say I’m afraid to be there. The one thing I’m not in life is a chicken.”
The Hill reports:
Trump’s decision to attend the debate comes after CNN President Jeff Zucker earlier Thursday said he won’t pay the billionaire businessman to participate.
“We do not pay candidates to appear” on the network, Zucker told BuzzFeed editor Ben Smith.
At a Monday rally in Georgia, Trump proposed CNN pay him $5 million to attend the debate, saying he would donate the money to wounded veterans.
“How about I tell CNN, who doesn’t treat me properly … I’m not gonna do the next debate, OK?” Trump told the crowd. “I won’t do the debate unless they pay me $5 million, all of which goes to wounded warriors or goes to vets.”
The CNN debate will be in Las Vegas.
Previous GOP primary debates have seen record viewing numbers, which many attribute to Trump’s bombastic presence.
Photo credit: Slate.