Tags: Donald Trump | GOP2016 | donald trump | will | appear | republican | debate

After CNN Rebuff, Trump Agrees to Appear in Next Debate

Image: After CNN Rebuff, Trump Agrees to Appear in Next Debate
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By    |   Thursday, 03 Dec 2015 05:23 PM

Republican front-runner Donald Trump said Thursday that he would appear at the Dec. 15 debate in Las Vegas, hours after CNN spurned his demand to donate $5 million to charity to ensure his appearance at the Venetian Hotel.

"When you’re leading in the polls, I think it’s too big of a risk to not do the debate," Trump told The Washington Post in an interview at the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va. "I don’t think I have the kind of leverage I’d like to have in a deal and I don’t want to take the chance of hurting my campaign.

"So I’ll do the debate," he said.

Trump's comments came after CNN President Jeff Zucker said at a breakfast in New York that the cable network would not meet Trump's demand.

"We do not pay candidates to appear," he said.

CNN had previously declined to respond to Trump's demand to donate $5 million to charities associated with U.S. military veterans.

In attacking the network's coverage of his campaign at a rally in Georgia over the weekend, Trump suggested the $5 million figure.

He told supporters in Macon that he might not "do the debate unless they pay me."

In his Post interview Thursday, however, Trump said that "I’ve been talking to them.

"CNN is going to make a fortune because of me," he added. "I would love to say, 'Give $5 million to Wounded Warriors,'" a veterans group. "I still hope they do."

He also acknowledged that CNN's ratings could possibly suffer if he did not appear, which would spur other attacks, according to the Post.

"If I don't do 'em, the problem will be: 'Oh, he’s chicken, he’s using that as an excuse,'" Trump said.

"Every single person doing the debate would knock the hell out of me and say I'm afraid to be there," he added. "The one thing I’m not in life is a chicken."

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Republican front-runner Donald Trump said Thursday that he would appear at the Dec. 15 debate in Las Vegas, hours after CNN spurned his demand to donate $5 million to charity to ensure his appearance at the Venetian Hotel.
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2015-23-03
Thursday, 03 Dec 2015 05:23 PM
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