Donald Trump, Megyn Kelly, Fox News
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Donald Trump’s decision to skip Thursday’s Fox News presidential debate brings to a head a months-long feud with the network and anchor Megyn Kelly.

Since Trump’s initial dust-up with Kelly at the first Republican debate in August, the GOP front-runner has posted disparaging remarks about Kelly on Twitter and accused her of bias against him, all while the network stood by their star anchor.   

Here are some of the flash points of the tumultuous relationship between Trump and Fox that have dominated the headlines. 

Aug. 6: The opening salvo

Trump and Kelly first squared off during the GOP’s first debate in Cleveland, where the Fox anchor almost immediately questioned him about accusations of sexism

“You’ve called women you don’t like fat pigs, dogs, snobs and disgusting animals,” she said. “Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president, and how will you answer the charge from Hillary Clinton — who is likely to be the Democratic nominee — that you are part of the ‘war on women?’ ” 

While Trump cast the criticism as people being too politically correct, the line of questioning from Kelly served as a ground zero for their feud. 

Trump repeatedly bashed Kelly in the wake of the debate, most notably a day later when he made a comment some believed was referring to menstruation

“You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever,” the real estate tycoon said on CNN.

The episode prompted a telephone conversation between network head Roger Ailes and Trump to clear the air.

Aug. 24: ‘Bimbo’-gate

Weeks after that cease-fire, Trump took to Twitter for a rant against Kelly where he retweeted a person calling her a “bimbo” and intimated that Kelly’s vacation from her show came as punishment for her treatment against him. Fox News repeatedly denied that accusation and a handful of Fox hosts took to Twitter in Kelly’s defense.

Sept. 22: Trump boycotts Fox programming

Trump hit back with another tweet-storm in September in which he referred to Kelly as a “lightweight” and “highly overrated.” 

He then canceled an appearance on Fox’s “The O’Reilly Factor” before declaring that he would boycott the network’s shows for the “foreseeable future” because the network has treated him “very unfairly.”

That prompted a promise of another meeting between Ailes and Trump, but the parties never publicly addressed whether a meeting took place. Trump returned to Fox programming soon after.

Nov. 4: ‘Facts matter’

Trump once again took to Twitter to accuse Kelly of touting polls where he doesn’t perform as well. 

“Isn’t it terrible that [Kelly] used a poll not used before (I.B.D.) when I was down, but refuses to use it now when I am up?” he asked on Twitter in reference to the Investor’s Business Daily poll that showed rival Ben Carson within striking distance of his lead. 

“Facts matter,” Kelly responded on Twitter, showing a graphic of the poll.  

Dec. 15: Trouble with numbers

An error during a broadcast of Kelly’s “The Kelly File” awoke prompted another wave of criticism from Trump. 

The show’s graphic correctly noted Trump’s 41 percent support in a recent Monmouth University poll, but Kelly understated the billionaire’s 27-point lead over Ted Cruz as a 15-point lead. 

Trump pounced, calling Kelly an “overrated anchor” who is “very bad at math.” 

“I wonder if [Kelly] and her flunkies have written their scripts about my debate performance tonight. No matter how well I do – bad,” he added in another tweet. 

A network official blamed the misstep on a script error.

 Jan. 4: A profile in ‘Vanity’

Thrust into the spotlight thanks in large part to the feud with Trump, Kelly sat down for a cover interview with Vanity Fair where she said that she “can’t be wooed” by Trump.

Trump responded during an exclusive interview with The Hill days later, where he said that “the last person in the world I would try to woo is Megyn Kelly.” He added that he didn’t expect her to be “fair and balanced” during the upcoming GOP debate, but said he “probably” would participate anyways.

Jan. 25: Trump pulls out

Fox News stood firm by its decision to keep Kelly on as a moderator despite Trump’s calls for the network to drop her from the event, which led to Trump publicly waffling on whether he’d attend. 

But the following day, the network put out a harsh statement knocking Trump.

“We learned from a secret back channel that the Ayatollah and Putin both intend to treat Donald Trump unfairly when they meet with him if he becomes president — a nefarious source tells us that Trump has his own secret plan to replace the Cabinet with his Twitter followers to see if he should even go to those meetings,” a spokesman said. (Trump had tweeted a poll asking followers whether he should attend Thursday’s debate.)

That statement led Trump to declare — not even an hour after Fox News announced the debate’s main stage lineup — that he would skip Thursday’s GOP debate, leaving Fox without its star candidate, who has likely contributed to a ratings uptick for televised debates.

The network shot back and accused Trump’s campaign manager of threatening Kelly and the network. Instead of attending the debate, Trump has promised a competing event that will raise money for veterans.

Tags Donald Trump Hillary Clinton Ted Cruz

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