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Donald Trump Is Skipping Out On Another Debate

The Huffington Post logo The Huffington Post 16/03/2016 Ariel Edwards-Levy
ATHENA IMAGE © The Washington Post via Getty Images ATHENA IMAGE

Donald Trump is skipping next week's Fox News debate to address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference, he said Wednesday.

"I'll be honest. Nobody even told me about it," Trump said Wednesday morning during a phone interview with FOX & Friends. "As you saw, I thought the last debate on CNN was the last debate, that was going to be it. I'm doing a major speech in front of a very important group of people, I think it's eight or nine thousand people, that night."

Dan Senor, who advised Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)'s campaign, questioned whether the speech served as an excuse to avoid going to the debate.

Trump himself didn't sound especially regretful to be missing out.

" W e've had 11 or 12 debates," he said. "I  did really well on the last  one. I  think I've done well in all  the debates. A ccording to Drudge and  everybody else, I won the  debates. But I think we've had enough. H ow many times can the same  people ask you the same  question? S o I was very surprised when I  heard that Fox called for a  debate."

(To fact check: there have indeed been 12 debates so far. Reader polls like the ones on Drudge, which Trump loves to cite, are absolutely meaningless.)

Trump's announcement also drew flak from his rival, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, whose chief strategist called the decision "disappointing but not surprising."

The businessman previously skipped a Fox debate in January before the Iowa caucuses, a decision the network attributed to his ongoing feud with moderator Megyn Kelly.

While Trump's absence clearly didn't deal a lasting blow to his campaign, there's evidence that it did hurt him among voters in Iowa, which he acknowledged. He's showed up to every debate since, including another event that Kelly moderated.

Editor's note: Donald Trump is a serial liarrampant xenophoberacistmisogynist, birther and bully who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims -- 1.6 billion members of an entire religion -- from entering the U.S.

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