Trump rekindles feud with Megyn Kelly ahead of Fox News debate: 'She should not be allowed to be a moderator'

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Donald Trump Rants at Megyn Kelly: 'The Bimbo Is Back in Town'

With just five days until Fox News airs the final GOP debate before the Iowa Caucuses, Donald Trump is reigniting his war with Megyn Kelly. "Based on ‪@MegynKelly's conflict of interest and bias she should not be allowed to be a moderator of the next debate," Trump tweeted while campaigning in Iowa on Saturday.

Trump's feud with Kelly has been one of the most memorable storylines of this raucous GOP primary. In recent weeks, it has heated up. In a lengthy Vanity Fair profile this month, Kelly boasted of writing the now famous debate question about Trump's history of misogynic comments, which ignited the feud this summer. And last week, Kelly sarcastically brought up Sarah Palin's Trump endorsement, as well as hosted National Review editor Rich Lowry to promote the National Review's anti-Trump issue.

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Trump rekindles feud with Megyn Kelly ahead of Fox News debate: 'She should not be allowed to be a moderator'
Fox News host Megyn Kelly greets the crowd before interviewing Republican presidential candidate Texas Sen. Ted Cruz on Tuesday, March 8, 2016, at Calvary Baptist Church in Raleigh, N.C. (Travis Long/Raleigh News & Observer/TNS via Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Pictured: Megyn Kelly -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 24: Megyn Kelly (C), Darth Vader and Stormtroopers from the 501st Legion attend New York Philharmonic's Spring Gala, A John Williams Celebration at David Geffen Hall on May 24, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for New York Philharmonic)
LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 07: Fox News reporter Megyn Kelly attends the 142nd Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 07, 2016 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Joey Foley/FilmMagic)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0470 -- Pictured: Journalist Megyn Kelly during an interview on May 12, 2016 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 02: Megyn Kelly attends the 'Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology' Costume Institute Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 30: Douglas Brunt and Megyn Kelly attend the 102nd White House Correspondents' Association Dinner on April 30, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage)
MEGYN KELLY presents: Megyn Kelly (R) and Donald Trump (L) during the FOX special 'MEGYN KELLY presents' airing Tuesday, May 17 (8:00-9:01 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by Eric Liebowitz/FOX via Getty Images)
MEGYN KELLY presents: Megyn Kelly (R) interviews Michael Douglas (L) during the FOX Special MEGYN KELLY presents airing Tuesday, May 17 (8:00-9:01 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (Photo by Eric Liebowitz/FOX via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 08: Journalist Megyn Kelly attends Variety's Power Of Women: New York 2016 at Cipriani Midtown on April 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 06: Megyn Kelly attends the 7th Annual Women in the World Summit Opening Night at David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center on April 6, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/FilmMagic)
Fox News host Megyn Kelly interviews Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., in Hialeah, Fla., Wednesday, March 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly waits to begin the Republican presidential candidate debate at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016. Candidates from both parties are crisscrossing Iowa, an agricultural state of about 3 million people in the U.S. heartland that will hold the first votes of the 2016 election on Feb. 1. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
DES MOINES, IA - JANUARY 28: Moderators Chris Wallace (L) pats on the shoulder of Megyn Kelly (2nd L) as they wait with Bret Baier (R) for the beginning of the Fox News - Google GOP Debate January 28, 2016 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa. Residents of Iowa will vote for the Republican nominee at the caucuses on February 1. Donald Trump, who is leading most polls in the state, decided not to participate in the debate. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
In this Thursday, Aug. 6, 2015 photo, Fox News moderators Megyn Kelly, right, listens as Chris Wallace, begins introductions during the first Republican presidential debate at the Quicken Loans Arena, in Cleveland. Angry over what he considered unfair treatment at the debate, republican presidential candidate Donald Trump told CNN on Friday night that Kelly had "blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever." (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Megyn Kelly arrives at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Sunday, Feb. 28, 2016, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Megyn Kelly appears on ABCs 'Good Morning America,' Friday, February 5, 2016. 'Good Morning America' airs Monday Friday (7-9am, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images) MEGYN KELLY
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0411 -- Pictured: (l-r) Journalist Megyn Kelly during an interview with host Jimmy Fallon on February 4, 2016 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
GOOD MORNING AMERICA - Megyn Kelly appears on ABCs 'Good Morning America,' Friday, February 5, 2016. 'Good Morning America' airs Monday Friday (7-9am, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images) MEGYN KELLY
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 13: News anchor Megyn Kelly speaks onstage during Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit - Day 2 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel on October 13, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Fortune/Time Inc)
Megyn Kelly attends The 35 Most Powerful People in Media hosted by The Hollywood Reporter at The Four Seasons Restaurant on Wednesday, April 8, 2015, in New York. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision for The Hollywood Reporter/AP Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 21: TV personality Megyn Kelly attends the 2015 Time 100 Gala at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 21, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
Co-host Megyn Kelly attends 24th Annual Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame Awards at the Waldorf-Astoria on Monday, Oct. 20, 2014 in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 29: Megyn Kelly attends the 2014 Time 100 Gala at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 29, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic)
LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS -- Episode 080 -- Pictured: (l-r) Political commentator Megyn Kelly during an interview with host Seth Meyers on July 31, 2014 -- (Photo by: Lloyd Bishop/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Sheryl Sandburg, chief operating officer of Facebook, responds to questions during a news interview with Megyn Kelly on the show, The Kelly File, in the FOX television studio Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
CORRECTS SPELLING TO SANDBERG NOT SANDBURG Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, right, smiles after a news interview with Megyn Kelly, left, on the show, The Kelly File, on the FOX News Channel, Wednesday, April 9, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 27: Megyn Kelly attends at the benefit concert for Army SPC Bryan Dilberain at the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts on April 27, 2012 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 19: Kid Rock with host Megyn Kelly visits FOX's 'America Live' at FOX Studios on June 19, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)
Megyn Kelly, host of Fox News Channel's "The Kelly Files," rehearses for the debut of her new show, in New York, Friday, Oct. 4, 2013. Her program is the linchpin to the first overhaul of Fox's prime-time lineup since 2002, or about a century in television time. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Megyn Kelly, host of Fox News Channel's "The Kelly Files," rehearses for the debut of her new show, in New York, Friday, Oct. 4, 2013. Her program is the linchpin to the first overhaul of Fox's prime-time lineup since 2002, or about a century in television time. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
FILE - In this March 6, 2012 file photo provided by Fox News, Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly poses at the anchor desk at the Fox studios in New York. Fox News says that Megyn Kelly, its popular daytime TV host, will move into the network’s prime-time lineup when she returns from maternity leave. Kelly announced this winter that she is expecting her third child sometime this summer. She’s still on the air. (AP Photo/Fox News, Alex Kroke)
ORLANDO, FL - SEPTEMBER 22: Fox anchor Megyn Kelly prepares for the Fox News/Google GOP Debate at the Orange County Convention Center on September 22, 2011 in Orlando, Florida. The debate features the nine Republican candidates two days before the Florida straw poll. (Photo by Charles Ommanney/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 10: Megyn Kelly, host of America Live on set at Fox News studios in New York. Fox News Channel celebrated its 15th anniversary on the air on October 7th.
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Trump's campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, indicated that Trump could walk away from the debate if Fox won't exclude Kelly. "Let's see what happens," he told me. "It's fair to say Mr. Trump is a significant ratings driver for these debates. If we aren't on stage for some reason, they wouldn't have the record 24 million viewers and would be back with 1-2 million people."

In the past, the Republican National Committee has banned media it deems unfair. It canceled a debate on NBC, and excluded the ManchesterUnion Leader and National Review, after both outlets attacked Trump. But in this case, the RNC won't be getting involved. "It's up to Fox," Sean Spicer, the Republican National Committee chief strategist, told me.

In a statement to reporters, Fox News spokesperson Irena Briganti said: "Megyn Kelly has no conflict of interest. Donald Trump is just trying to build up the audience for Thursday's debate, for which we thank him."

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Trump rekindles feud with Megyn Kelly ahead of Fox News debate: 'She should not be allowed to be a moderator'
BURLINGTON, IA - OCTOBER 21: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets guests after speaking at a campaign rally at Burlington Memorial Auditorium on October 21, 2015 in Burlington, Iowa. Trump leads most polls in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Fourteen-year-old supporters Kaylie Kilpatrick (C) and her friend James Hanna (L) pose dress like Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a campaign rally in Sumter, South Carolina, February 17, 2016. / AFP / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)
MOBILE, AL- AUGUST 21: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets supporters after his rally at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on August 21, 2015 in Mobile, Alabama. The Trump campaign moved tonight's rally to a larger stadium to accommodate demand. (Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)
Audience members cheer as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump signs autographs at a campaign event Sunday, Feb. 21, 2016, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
Patrolman James Pittman poses for a selfie with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a campaign stop at police headquarters in Manchester, N.H., Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
A man with a wig dressed like Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump takes a photo of himself before Trump arrives at a campaign event in Tampa, Fla., Monday, March 14, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
A member of the audience cheers as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally at Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Ga., Monday, Feb. 29, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
TOPSHOT - A protester (C) is surrounded by Trump supporters as he tries to disrupt a rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on March 13, 2016 in Boca Raton, Florida. Primary voters head to the polls on March 15th in Florida. / AFP / RHONA WISE (Photo credit should read RHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate, Donald Trump gets a fist bump from supporters during a rally at Radford University in Radford, Va., Monday, Feb. 29, 2016. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
MYRTLE BEACH, SC - FEBRUARY 19: Supporters wait for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to speak at a rally February 19, 2016 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Trump is campaigning throughout South Carolina ahead of the state's primary. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
Liberty University students, Austin Miller, of Salisbury N.C., left, James Ford, of Elkton Md., second from left, Jeremy Boyd, of New York City, center, Josian O'Boyle, of Toronto Canada, second from right, and Cody Hildebrand, of Fayetteville W.Va., pose for photos with their home made t-shirts as they wait for a speech by Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., Monday, Jan. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump holds up a child he pulled from the crowd as he arrives to speak at a campaign rally in New Orleans, Friday, March 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump rubs the shoulders of Alex Stypik, as Stypik shows off his T-shirt during a rally Sunday, March 13, 2016, in Bloomington, Ill. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a campaign rally, Friday, Dec. 11, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump attracts autograph seekers during a rally at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum in Biloxi, Miss., on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2016. (John Fitzhugh/Biloxi Sun Herald/TNS via Getty Images)
RICHMOND, VA - OCTOBER 14: Thousands of people line up at the Richmond International Raceway to get into a political rally with presidential candidate and Republican front-runner Donald Trump October 14, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. A New York real estate mogul and reality television star, Trump is now in a statistical tie with retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson in a Fox News survey of likely Republican voters released Tuesday. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump holds up a cap that he signed for a supporter during a rally at the Expo Hall of the Richmond International Raceway on October 14, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. AFP PHOTO/MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
LOWELL, MA - JANUARY 4: Robin Roy reacts to Republican candidate for President Donald Trump meeting spectators after a rally in Lowell, Massachusetts on Monday evening January 4, 2016. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Shane Hague waits for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to speak at a campaign stop, Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, in Portsmouth, N.H. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Supporters hold up campaign signs, and a Trump coloring book, prior to an address by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a campaign stop at the Tsongas Center in Lowell, Mass., Monday, Jan. 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
RICHMOND, VA - OCTOBER 14: Supporters cheer as presidential candidate and Republican front-runner Donald Trump takes the stage during a campaign rally at the Richmond International Raceway October 14, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. A New York real estate mogul and reality television star, Trump is now in a statistical tie with retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson in a Fox News survey of likely Republican voters released Tuesday. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Supporters react as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015, in Davenport, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
BILOXI, MS - JANUARY 02: Supporters of the Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump try to get autographs after his appearance at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum on January 2, 2016 in Biloxi, Mississippi. Trump, who has strong support from Southern voters, spoke to thousands in the small Mississippi city on the Gulf of Mexico. Trump continues to split the GOP establishment with his populist and controversial views on immigration, muslims and some of his recent comments on women. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NORFOLK, VA - OCTOBER 31: Donald Trump supporters cheer for the Republican presidential while he speaks at a rally in front of the USS Wisconsin on October 31, 2015 in Norfolk, Virginia. . With just 93 days before the Iowa caucuses Republican hopefuls are trying to shore up support amongst the party. (Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)
NORTH CHARLESTON, SC - SEPTEMBER 23: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks before the Greater Charleston Business Alliance, which supports minority businesses and is affiliated with the South Carolina African American Chamber of Commerce on September 23, 2015 in North Charleston, South Carolina. The candidate shook hands and signed autographs after the event. (Photos by Charles Ommanney/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Holly Griffin, 8, of Atlanta, wears a hat in support of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump while waiting for Trump to arrive for a campaign rally at Dorton Arena in Raleigh, N.C., Friday, Dec. 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Ted Richardson)
NORFOLK, VA - OCTOBER 31: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump motions to the media at a rally in front of the USS Wisconsin on October 31, 2015 in Norfolk, Virginia. . With just 93 days before the Iowa caucuses Republican hopefuls are trying to shore up support amongst the party. (Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - OCTOBER 08: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump invites Myriam Witcher 35 on the stage during a campaign rally at the Treasure Island Hotel & Casino on October 8, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada (Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump poses for a photo with Iowa State fans before an NCAA college football game between Iowa State and Iowa, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015, in Ames, Iowa. (Rodney White/The Des Moines Register via AP) 
BOULDER, CO - OCTOBER 28: Andy Dean, a spin room surrogate for Donald Trump, wears a hat with Trumps signature outside the spin room before Republican Presidential Debate Your Money, Your Vote sponsored by CNBC at the University of Colorado in Boulder, October 28, 2015. The event will be moderated by network anchors Carl Quintanilla and Becky Quick and chief Washington correspondent John Harwood. (Photo by RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump wave banners during a rally at the Expo Hall of the Richmond International Raceway on October 14, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. AFP PHOTO/MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Trump supporters hold up a sign reading 'We Are The 68%' before Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump's rally, December 14, 2015 at the Westgate Hotel & Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. A recent USA Today poll shows 68% of Trump supporters would follow him if he left the GOP to make a third party run for the presidency. Trump will face off with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and six other main stage candidates at tomorrow's GOP debate, hosted by CNN. AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK / AFP / ROBYN BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
RICHMOND, VA - OCTOBER 14: Charlotte Browning (C) and Lois Lang (2nd R) bought wigs to look like their favorite candidate, Republican front-runner Donald Trump, while lining up with thousands of others for a campaign rally at the Richmond International Raceway October 14, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. A New York real estate mogul and reality television star, Trump is now in a statistical tie with retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson in a Fox News survey of likely Republican voters released Tuesday. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, center, stops to take a photograph with Jim Tranz, of Port Charlotte, Fla., as he walks with a crowd during the final round of play at The Barclays golf tournament Sunday, Aug. 30, 2015, in Edison, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 28: A supporter of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump listens to Trump give a speech outlining his vision for tax reform at his skyscraper on Fifth Avenue on September 28, 2015 in New York City. Under the plan there would be four tax categories, with people earning less than $25,000 per year paying 0% tax. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
BURLINGTON, IA - OCTOBER 21: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets guests after speaking at a campaign rally at Burlington Memorial Auditorium on October 21, 2015 in Burlington, Iowa. Trump leads most polls in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
The crowd cheers when Republican presidential candidate businessman Donald Trump speaks during a campaign pep rally, Friday, Aug. 21, 2015, in Mobile, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
A woman shows excitement when meeting Republican presidential candidate businessman Donald Trump during a campaign pep rally, Friday, Aug. 21, 2015, in Mobile, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
A supporter for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump listens during a campaign rally, Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015, in Davenport, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Laci Lamb, 6, of Lucedale, Miss., looks at a sign before Republican presidential candidate businessman Donald Trump speaks at a campaign pep rally, Friday, Aug. 21, 2015, in Mobile, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Supporters Kathleen Hastings, left, and Elizabeth Musngi, right, cheers Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump as he speaks during a campaign rally held at the North Atlanta Trade Center, Saturday, Oct., 10, 2015, in Norcross, Ga. (AP Photo/John Amis)
Tammy Pickett is illuminated by her cell phone as she listens to a speech by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the National Federation of Republican Assemblies on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
A young girl listens as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump delivers his message during a campaign rally at the state fair in Oklahoma City, Friday, Sept. 25, 2015. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)
Supporters cheer Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a campaign rally held at the North Atlanta Trade Center, Saturday, Oct., 10, 2015, in Norcross, Ga. (AP Photo/John Amis)
MOBILE, AL- AUGUST 21: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets supporters after his rally at Ladd-Peebles Stadium on August 21, 2015 in Mobile, Alabama. The Trump campaign moved tonight's rally to a larger stadium to accommodate demand. (Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets supporters after speaking at a campaign rally, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2015, in Mesa, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Ruth Hindal, left, shows Ann Thomas, both of Des Moines, Iowa, a shirt for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump before his arrival at a rally, Tuesday, June 16, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump listen to him speak before a crowd of 3,500 Saturday, July 11, 2015, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
RICHMOND, VA - OCTOBER 14: A young woman wears a Donald Trump t-shirt as thousands of people line up at the Richmond International Raceway to get into a political rally with presidential candidate and Republican front-runner Donald Trump October 14, 2015 in Richmond, Virginia. A New York real estate mogul and reality television star, Trump is now in a statistical tie with retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson in a Fox News survey of likely Republican voters released Tuesday. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
US Republican Presidential hopeful Donald Trump greets supporters as he arrives to speak during a Tea Party rally against the international nuclear agreement with Iran outside the US Capitol in Washington, DC, September 9, 2015. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 14: A supporter of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump waits for the start of a campaign rally at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino on December 14, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Donlad Trump is campaigning in Las Vegas a day ahead of the final GOP debate. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Attendees try to take a photograph of Donald Trump, president and chief executive of Trump Organization Inc. and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, red cap, at the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines, Iowa, U.S., on Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015. Billionaire Republican 2016 contender Donald Trump said this week unlike rivals such as Jeb Bush, he wouldn't be beholden to big-money campaign donors if elected president. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
GRAND RAPIDS, MI - DECEMBER 21: Jeanne Contanch (L) and Shelly Kumfer wait for the start of a campaign event with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on December 21, 2015 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Trump continues to lead the most polls in the race for the Republican nomination for president. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - JULY 11: Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses supporters during a political rally at the Phoenix Convention Center on July 11, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona. Trump spoke about illegal immigration and other topics in front of an estimated crowd of 4,200. (Photo by Charlie Leight/Getty Images)
Supporters reach to great Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump as he leaves a brief stop to speak to supporters and the media in Laredo, Texas, Thursday, July 23, 2015. Trump predicted Hispanics would love him, because as president he said he'd grab jobs back from overseas and give more opportunity to those who live in the U.S. legally. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump whispers to James âCooperâ Skinner, 9, of Woodbridge, Va., while he lifts hi up to the microphone to ask a question during a campaign rally at the Prince William County Fair Ground in Manassas, Va., Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Donald Trump, president and chief executive officer of Trump Organization Inc. and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, takes a selfie photograph with guests after an interview on Bloomberg Television's 'With All Due Respect' in the lobby of the Trump Tower in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. Trump said that he agrees the carried interest tax 'loophole' should be eliminated and that it is 'tremendous burden' on country's finances. Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump cheer during a campaign rally Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015 at Robarts Arena in Sarasota, Fla. Speaking before thousands who jammed into the arena, Trump said he's "killing everybody" in polls nationally and in early voting states. (AP Photo/Steve Nesius)
Attendee Lucy Weatherwax Chalmers from Palm Springs, California, places her hand over her heart during the Pledge of Allegiance at a Tea Party Patriots rally against the Iran nuclear deal on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015. A revolt among U.S. House Republicans delayed action on the Iran nuclear deal today as some members insisted they aren't bound by a Sept. 17 deadline in their efforts to kill the agreement. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump waves to the crowd during a campaign pep rally, Friday, Aug. 21, 2015, in Mobile, Ala. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
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For Fox News chief Roger Ailes, Trump's threat of a debate boycott raises the stakes in a war that Ailes has struggled to develop a playbook for. Historically, Ailes's strategy in situations where his stars are attacked is to follow a version of the Powell Doctrine: Apply overwhelming force. But Trump's popularity with the GOP base – that is, Fox viewers – has forced Ailes to make a choice between his audience and Kelly. In the wake of the first debate, Ailes was said to be rattled by the volume of anti-Kelly emails Fox News received from Trump supporters. Kelly told people she was receiving death threats, and Fox did not have a ready response. Ailes, who is less of a presence at Fox, now has to make another choice, which could result in the GOP front runner walking away.

Lewandowski, Trump's campaign manager, told me Trump could stage his own televised town hall on Thursday night and let Fox's rivals air it. "That would be a great idea," he said.

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