Trump asks CNN for $5 million to participate in next debate
US Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has demanded CNN pay him $5 million to participate in the next GOP debate.
At a campaign rally in Macon, Georgia, on Monday, the billionaire businessman said he pulls in such big ratings that he should be paid $5 million from CNN, host of the next debate.
“How about I tell CNN, who doesn’t treat me properly … I’m not gonna do the next debate, okay?” Trump said.
“I won’t do the debate unless they pay me 5 million dollars,” he insisted.
The real estate mogul, whose campaign has been defined by controversial remarks from the start, raised the specter of being paid to participate in the last CNN debate in September.
“While I refuse to brag, and you know very well, this tremendous increase in viewer interest is due 100% to ‘Donald J. Trump,” he wrote to CNN president Jeff Zucker.
Trump’s support among likely Republican voters fell by 12 points in less than a week, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, released on Friday. The decline in popularity is the biggest since Trump leapt to the top of the crowded GOP field in July.
Trump’s increasingly inflammatory comments about Muslims and immigrants are causing party rivals to step up attacks against him and some conservatives to label him a “fascist.”
The White House hopeful drew strong criticism earlier this month for saying that he would require American Muslims to register in a database. He has also suggested that the US should put mosques under surveillance.
He has claimed, without providing any evidence, that Muslims in New Jersey celebrated the fall of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center after the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Trump took his anti-Muslim rhetoric to a whole new level Monday, saying that there is “something nasty” coming out of Islam.