Fox News political commentator Megyn Kelly has criticised Donald Trump for refusing to attend the next GOP debate because Fox would not take her off the programme to satisfy the candidate.
"Trump is not used to not controlling things, as the chief executive of a large organization," Kelly said on her Fox programme The Kelly File shortly after Trump announced he would not attend the GOP debate amid an ongoing dispute between the network and the candidate over Kelly.
"But the truth is he doesn't get to control the media," she said, pointing out that she will be at the debate, which will "go on with or without Mr Trump."
Kelly will moderate the programme along with Fox News personalities Bret Baier and Chris Wallace
Trump called Kelly a "lightweight" and accused Fox of "toying" with him shortly before he announced he won't be attending the debate in Des Moines, Iowa, Associated Press reported.
Just days before he backed out, he tweeted that Kelly had a "conflict of interest" because she was "biased" against him and should not be allowed on the programme.
Fox News Channel Chairman and Chief Executive Roger Ailes responded: "Megyn Kelly is an excellent journalist, and the entire network stands behind her. She will absolutely be on the debate stage on Thursday night."
Trump first attacked Kelly after the initial GOP debate in August 2015 following tough questions from the Fox News moderator. She asked Trump if he could expect female voters to support him when he referred to women he didn't like as "fat pigs," "dog," "slobs" and "disgusting animals." He responded: "Only Rosie O'Donnell."
Kelly also quizzed him on some positions he had publicly expressed that seemed more Democratic than Republican. The questions were similar in tenor to things she asked of all the candidates, noted the Washington Post, and the journalist said on The Kelly File that she considered her questions "tough but fair."
Trump later complained that Kelly was "bleeding from her eyes ... bleeding from her wherever," apparently insinuating her questions were affected by her hormones, which again sparked furious accusations of sexism from the candidate's critics. He insisted he had been misunderstood, adding: "I cherish women."
Kelly said at the time about his attacks: "I certainly will not apologise for doing good journalism."
This time around Trump said he would be at a charity event during the debate.
"With me, they're dealing with somebody that's a little bit different. They can't toy with me like they toy with everybody else," he said. "Let them have their debate and let's see how they do with the ratings."
Famous left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore appeared on The Kelly File to support her and her conservative news network, usually at odds with Moore, for backing her.