In the hours leading up to the GOP debate, Donald Trump told CNN that Fox News had apologized for issuing a snarky press statement on Tuesday that caused him withdraw. The executives with whom he spoke “couldn’t have been nicer,” Trump said.
Trump reiterated that sentiment at his veterans’ fundraising event, held simultaneously with the Fox debate.
Fox News seemed to confirm Trump’s account, in a statement provided to CNN’s Dylan Byers:
[Fox News CEO] Roger Ailes had three brief conversations with Donald Trump today about possibly appearing at the debate — there were not multiple calls placed by Ailes to Trump.
In the course of those conversations, we acknowledged his concerns about a satirical observation we made in order to quell the attacks on Megyn Kelly, and prevent her from being smeared any further. Furthermore, Trump offered to appear at the debate upon the condition that FOX News contribute $5 million to his charities. We explained that was not possible and we could not engage in a quid pro quo, nor could any money change hands for any reason. In the last 48 hours, we’ve kept two issues at the forefront–we would never compromise our journalistic standards and we would always stand by our journalist, Megyn Kelly. We have accomplished these two goals and we are pleased with the outcome. We’re very proud to have her on stage as a debate moderator alongside Bret Baier & Chris Wallace.
The statement does not deny that an apology took place. It also appears to confirm earlier reporting that Fox had deliberately sought to provoke Trump into attacking the network rather than attacking Kelly.
Trump told his event that the effort to raise money for wounded veterans had yielded over $5 million.