Donald Trump Thursday denied that he was making fun of fellow GOP candidate Carly Fiorina's looks in front of a Rolling Stone interviewer — instead, says he was talking about her "persona."
"I'm not talking looks, although I get criticized for my hair," the party frontrunner told Fox News' "Fox and Friends" program. "You've seen me, it's not that bad. When I get criticized for my hair, nobody does the story, 'oh isn't that terrible, they criticized Donald Trump's hair.'"
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In the Rolling Stone
story, which came out on Wednesday, writer Paul Solotaroff recounts that while he was interviewing Trump, Fiorina came on television, and Trump dove in.
"Trump's expression sours in schoolboy disgust as the camera bores in on Fiorina," wrote Solotaroff. "'Look at that face!" he cries. "Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president? She's a woman, and I'm not s'posedta say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?"
"I probably did say that about Carly in a joking manner obviously," he told "Fox and Friends" Thursday, complaining that Fiorina has "hit me constantly."
He went on to target Fiorina's record at Hewlett Packard, saying "she was fired" because "the company went to hell."
"If you look at her before, she was at a company that was a bigger disaster I believe than Hewlett Packard," said Trump. "She ran for senate in California after she got fired, she was defeated in a landslide. Now she's running for president."
But he did agree that she should be on the main debate stage as she's "doing better than Rand Paul and the clowns we have."
Fiorina, appearing on Megyn Kelly's Fox News show Wednesday
, said she thinks Trump's comments speak for themselves and she believes she's getting under his skin.
"She's not getting under my skin," said Trump. "She's possibly a nice woman. I'm not sure I ever met her. I look at her track record. "
However, Trump did not criticize GOP candidate Jeb Bush — somebody who he has attacked often in recent weeks — for poking fun at him on Stephen Colbert's inaugural "Late Show" Tuesday night.
"He probably got suckered into that," said Trump. "I think he's a nice man actually...he's not a natural entertainer, that's for sure. They had him doing things. He looked very uncomfortable."
Trump also repeated his call for CNN to donate its profits from the Sept. 16 debate to veterans' causes.
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