Donald Trump, frontrunner in the Republican presidential candidate race, has declined to participate in a Fox News panel on Wednesday that will include all his GOP rivals.
Trump’s campaign has attributed the candidate’s absence to scheduling conflicts, though some may interpret his decision to skip as a cold shoulder directed at Megyn Kelly, the Fox News anchor who will host the event and with whom Trump has publicly feuded in recent months. (In fact, Trump sat out on a recent Fox debate for this very reason.)
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“The campaign has a previous engagement in Virginia and then New York, which could not be rescheduled,” Trump campaign spokesperson Hope Hicks said in an email statement, CNNMoney reports. “Given this was just proposed at the last minute it was not possible to change our plans in order to attend. Mr. Trump looks forward to participating in the next FOX News debate.”
Kelly effectively dismissed the feud reasoning in a post on Twitter, and welcomed Trump to the network’s upcoming debate, to be held in Detroit next month. She is scheduled to moderate that debate alongside her colleagues Bret Baier and Chris Wallace.
“Trump’s team is correct-we only scheduled this last-minute,” she said. “They were very polite & we’re happy we’ll see him in MI.”
For more on the Trump-Kelly feud, watch:
The two-hour special edition of the impromptu panel, The Kelly File: Face to Face with Candidates, will take place Feb. 24 at 9:00 P.M. ET. That’s the night before the next Republican debate, which will be hosted by CNN in Houston. GOP candidates Ted Cruz and Ben Carson will appear on stage on the Fox show, while Marco Rubio and John Kasich will join via satellite.