Fox News says that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump boycotted the GOP debate on Jan. 28 in Des Moines, Iowa, because the cable network refused to donate $5 million to Trump's charities.
Trump was also reportedly upset that Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly was going to host the debate given their past conflicts. Trump had several phone calls on Jan. 28 with Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes, but the billionaire real estate mogul refused to give in, Reuters reports
Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas mocked Trump's absence at the beginning of the debate.
"I’m a maniac and everyone on this stage is stupid, fat and ugly, and Ben, you're a terrible surgeon," he said. "Now that we’ve gotten the Donald Trump portion out of the way."
Trump held his own event at Drake University in Des Moines during the debate time-slot, which he said raised $6 million for U.S. veterans.
"Mr. Trump personally contributed $1 million dollars to the cause and raised an additional $5 million before the one-hour event concluded, totaling more than $6 million dollars," according to a press release on Trump's website.
"The night benefited twenty-two different organizations, a number of which are Iowa based Veterans groups," the press release noted. "Mr. Trump has been a major supporter of Veterans organizations throughout his life and has made strengthening our military, reforming the VA and taking care of our great Veterans cornerstones of his campaign."