Trump to skip next GOP debate: campaign manager

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Republican Presidential candidate businessman Donald Trump participates in the Republican Presidential debate sponsored by Fox Business and the Republican National Committee at the North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center in Charleston, South Carolina on January 14, 2016. / AFP / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

DES MOINES, Iowa — Donald Trump’s campaign manager says Trump is skipping the next Republican debate.

The Republican candidates are set to square off in the Fox News debate Thursday night, their last debate before Monday’s Iowa caucuses.

Trump previously had said he may not show up. But campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said during a Tuesday evening news conference in Marshalltown, Iowa, that the GOP front-runner “will not be participating in the Fox News debate Thursday.”

Trump has criticized Fox News for “playing games” and for including anchor Megyn Kelly as a debate moderator. He says Kelly is a third-rate reporter who is bad at her job and shouldn’t be allowed to participate.