After being rebuffed by CNN boss Jeff Zucker over a demand to be paid $5 million to participate in the upcoming GOP debate, presidential front-runner Donald Trump has backed down and now says he will take part in the debate free of charge.
He had said he wanted $5 million, which he said he would give to charity. He was quoted saying during a campaign stop in Georgia earlier this week: “How about I tell CNN, who doesn’t treat me properly … I’m not gonna do the next debate, okay? I won’t do the debate unless they pay me $5 million, all of which goes to Wounded Warriors or goes to vets.”
Zucker later said CNN would not pay any candidates for debate appearances, and Time magazine reports that Trump confirmed Thursday he would show up anyway.
Trump reportedly told The Washington Post: “When you’re leading in the polls, I think it’s too big of a risk to not do the debate. I don’t think I have the kind of leverage I’d like to have in a deal and I don’t want to take the chance of hurting my campaign. So I’ll do the debate.”
The CNN debate is scheduled for Dec. 15.