Fox News said Wednesday that it canceled Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump’s planned Thursday night appearance on the network before he tweeted that he would boycott it.
A Fox News spokesperson said in a statement provided to TPM:
“At 11:45am today, we canceled Donald Trump’s scheduled appearance on The O’Reilly Factor on Thursday, which resulted in Mr. Trump’s subsequent tweet about his ‘boycott’ of FOX News. The press predictably jumped to cover his tweet, creating yet another distraction from any real issues that Mr. Trump might be questioned about. When coverage doesn’t go his way, he engages in personal attacks on our anchors and hosts, which has grown stale and tiresome. He doesn’t seem to grasp that candidates telling journalists what to ask is not how the media works in this country.”
Trump’s boycott announcement was the latest salvo in a weeks-long, on-again-off-again battle between the real estate mogul and the news titan.
The night before he tweeted that he wouldn’t make any more appearances on Fox News “for the foreseeable future,” he was ranting about anchor Megyn Kelly, with whom he’s had an acrimonious relationship since she asked him about his history of derogatory comments about women during the first Republican presidential debate in Cleveland.
Trump’s escalating attacks on Kelly prompted Fox News CEO Roger Ailes to step in last month and call for an apology, which never came. The billionaire and the Fox News boss already have had to clear the air twice in recent weeks after trading attacks.
Trump’s presidential campaign stood by the candidate’s earlier tweet in a statement released later Wednesday.
“Mr. Trump stands by his statement made earlier today,” the statement read. “As a candidate for President of the United States and the definitive front runner in every poll, both nationally and state wide, including the just released poll in the state of Florida, Mr. Trump expects to be treated fairly. All you have to do is look at the tremendous ratings last night from the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where Mr. Trump was the guest, or the ratings from both debates, to fully understand the facts.”
This post has been updated.