Donald Trump on Tuesday bowed out of the final Republican presidential debate before the Iowa caucuses, saying Fox News moderator Megyn Kelly is "a lightweight." With 48 hours to go before the faceoff, campaign manager Corey Lewandowski confirmed Trump's decision Tuesday evening after a press conference in which Trump lashed out at Kelly and said she'd been "toying" with him. "He will not be participating in the Fox News debate Thursday," Lewandowski said after the press conference. Earlier, Trump tweeted that Fox News would sooner dump Kelly than slog through a Trump-less debate, but the network quickly rejected that idea.
"Megyn Kelly is an excellent journalist, and the entire network stands behind her," the Washington Post quotes Fox News CEO Roger Ailes as saying. "She will absolutely be on the debate stage on Thursday night." Trump has been upset with Kelly ever since the first Fox debate when she asked him about remarks he's made about women. "Megyn Kelly's really biased against me," Trump said in an Instagram video. "She knows that, I know that, everybody knows that. Do you really think she can be fair at a debate?" Kelly has declined to engage with Trump publicly since the debate. (Read more Donald Trump stories.)