Trump takes credit as NH paper cut from debate

ABC is severing its partnership with the New Hampshire Union Leader for the Feb. 6 Republican primary debate, and Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpO’Malley tells Dems not to fear Trump Right way and wrong way Five things to know about the elephant trophies controversy MORE says he made the network do it.

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“I am pleased to announce that I had the Union Leader removed from the upcoming debate,” Trump said on Sunday in a statement to The Hill.

The Republican primary front-runner said the newspaper’s recent criticism of his candidacy constituted a conflict of interest.

The newspaper issued a front-page editorial last month entitled “Trump campaign insults NH voters’ intelligence.”

“This is really unfair and a conflict for all the other candidates,” Trump said in his statement. “I said it should not be allowed and ABC agreed.”

“To top it off, the paper has lost all credibility under publisher Joe McQuaid, with its circulation dropping to record lows,” he added. “They are not worthy of representing the great people of New Hampshire.”

Trump also bristled at the paper’s endorsement of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) for president.

“If their highly unethical behavior, including continually begging me for ads, isn’t questionable enough, they have endorsed a candidate who can’t win,” he said.

Julie Townsend, a spokeswoman for ABC, confirmed the network has parted ways with the Union Leader.

She told The Hill that the newspaper played a “minor role” in the debate and the decision “doesn’t have any impact at all on the editorial content of the debate itself.”

The Union Leader did not immediately return a request for comment.