Donald Trump told his audience at a Nov. 30 rally in Macon, Georgia, that he might boycott the upcoming CNN Republican presidential debate unless the network pays him $5 million.
“How about I tell CNN that I’m not gonna do the next debate?" the billionare businessman asked the audience, according to On Politics. “I won’t do the debate unless they pay me $5 million, all of which money goes to the Wounded Warriors or to vets.”
The network owes him the large payment because they do not treat him "properly," despite him earning high ratings during their September GOP debate, Trump explained.
“CNN had 23 million people," the real estate mogul said. "It was the biggest show in the history of CNN."
The next Republican presidential debate will air live on CNN on Dec. 15.
Trump considered sitting out for the network's previous debate in September, when he wrote a letter to CNN president Jeff Zucker, asking him to donate all debate profits to veterans' charities, Politico reports. Although Trump did not get an official response from CNN, he still showed up for the debate.
However, he mentioned that he is not yet sure how far he will take this, especially considering the response he anticipates receiving from CNN.
“So, with CNN, here’s what they’ll say: ‘Trump’s chicken," the presidential candidate told his audience, according to Politico. "'He’s afraid to debate. He’s afraid to debate.'"
Trump almost always has less than warm words for the media, but he was particularly unhappy with what he called unfair coverage of his closed-door meeting with African-American ministers on Nov. 30, notes On Politics.
He told the Georgia crowd that media pundits who criticize him are “talking heads, who are not smart people at all," and that he puts little stock in what they say.
“They call them elite,” Trump said of the 'talking heads.' “My education is better than any of them. I’m smarter than they are.”
After saying that he didn’t want to point the finger at any specific pundits, he mentioned "guys like Karl Rove."
"He spends hundreds of millions of dollars on campaigns, he wins nothing," Trump said. "There are some people that are losers.”