Donald Trump Wants CNN To Pay Him $5 Million For A Debate Appearance

Donald Trump Holds Campaign Rally In Columbus, Ohio
Getty Image / Ty Wright

It may be hard to believe, but Donald Trump has said something that’s ignited controversy. We’ll give you a moment to sweep up your monocle shards off the floor and rest on a fainting couch.

The divisive White House hopeful is raising eyebrows with his suggestion that CNN should shell out a hefty chunk of change ($5 million) if the network wants to see the Republican Party’s leading candidate at the next debate. The pay-to-play idea bubbled up during a campaign rally in Macon, Ga. and it’s something Trump is positioning as a charitable donation.

“How about we do this for CNN: I won’t do the debate unless they pay me $5 million dollars, all of which money goes to the Wounded Warriors or goes to vets?” said Trump. “I would love to do that.”

He also noted that he’d be the subject of condemnation if he goes through with a boycott if the money’s not ponied up.

“The problem is they’ll say, ‘Trump is chicken,'” he told the crowd. “One thing I’m not is chicken, okay? I don’t know if I want to take the chance.”

Trump’s musing about an appearance fee is something that’s considered unheard of in the history of Presidential debates. Mind you, Trump engaged in similar posturing back in September when he wanted $10 million to participate in the first debate hosted by the cable news network. He did not follow through on that position and was in attendance for the event.

CNN’s coverage of Trump’s campaign has received a fair bit of backlash from the businessman-turned-politican. He’s billed the network’s coverage of him as unfair and inaccurate. These complaints have been expressed at campaign events and online.

At the moment, CNN has not yet commented on Trump’s $5 million plan.

(Via The Washington Post)