It didn’t take long.
Just moments after Fox News announced its lineup for Thursday’s Republican debate, Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that he will skip the event.
“Let’s see how much money Fox is going to make on the debate without me,” Trump said at a press conference in Iowa, reported by the New York Times. “It’s time that somebody plays grownup.”
Shortly after Trump made his first comments, his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, confirmed the news, saying “He will not be participating in the Fox News debate on Thursday.” Lewandowski also added that the news is “not under negotiation.”
Trump posted this video on his Instagram on Tuesday afternoon:
If Trump doesn’t participate in the debate, the event would be without the leader in national polls and the biggest ratings draw for previous debates. Trump has threatened to skip debates in the past, but his most recent statements were, by far, his strongest.
The Fox News debate also includes: Jeb Bush, Marco Rubo, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Rand Paul and John Kasich.
The internet was less-than-impressed by Trump’s announcement. These are just a handful of responses:
The move by Trump is the latest footnote in his continued feud with Kelly. The pair previously sparred after the first Fox News debate and the network sided with its anchor on Tuesday over the presidential candidate. Roger Ailes, the chairman and CEO of Fox, released a statement on the situation, saying:
Megyn Kelly is an excellent journalist, and the entire network stands behind her. She will absolutely be on the debate stage on Thursday night.
The feud between Kelly and Trump first began last August when she seemingly infuriated the real estate mogul by asking him a question regarding his previously comments towards women.
“You’ve called women you don’t like ‘fat pigs,’ ‘dogs,’ ‘slobs’ and ‘disgusting animals,'” Kelly said during the debate. Trump responded, “Only Rosie O’Donnell.”
Over the past months, Trump has criticized Kelly’s journalistic credibility while still proclaiming that he “might be the best thing that ever happened to her.”
CNN has suggested that Trump may actually be afraid of Kelly, releasing a statement on Monday that read:
Sooner or later Donald Trump, even if he’s president, is going to have to learn that he doesn’t get to pick the journalists — we’re very surprised he’s willing to show that much fear about being questioned by Megyn Kelly.
As recently as Tuesday afternoon, Trump had hit a new high in the race for the Republican nomination, poll at the 40% mark in the CNN/ORC Poll, with more than 4-in-10 Republican voters offering him their support. His nearest competitor, Ted Cruz, holds 19% of support in the poll.