Trump to skip GOP debate in Iowa, hold competing town hall

President Donald Trump has announced that he will skip the GOP debate in Iowa to hold a competing town hall event on the same night.

“I have decided not to do the Republican debate in Iowa and instead do a major rally for my great supporters,” Trump wrote on Twitter. He also said that the town hall would “air at the same time as the debate on [news channel] CNBC.”

The Republican presidential candidate said that he had requested to be at the debate, but that he had been denied. CNBC, however, said that two other candidates had already been invited and that there was no room left.

The unprecedented move places Trump in direct competition with the other GOP candidates for the votes of Iowa Republicans. It is a risky move for Trump, as it will pit him against both his GOP competitors as well as the news channel itself, which may be target of his fiery rhetoric.

The upcoming debate is set to be the seventh of the Republican presidential political season. Trump has previously participated in five of the six debates, though he has said that he plans to skip the next one on March 3.